A couple of the Advent passages from Isaiah* emphasize the theme of the first Psalm. Namely that the Lord guides those who cleave to Him. He guides us with a firm hand, with an interior light, with a Father’s wisdom. Only the guiding hand of God can get us to our true goal.
One of the main themes which Time’s Man of the Year sounds in his famous Apostolic Exhortation is this:
The Church accompanies people through life, helping everyone to find God and follow His plan. Almighty God has a plan for every human being. The plan for each of us is more beautiful and intricate than any human mind can grasp. It is not the Church’s job to have the plan. It’s the Church’s job to help everyone find the plan.
Hence the idea: The Catholic Church does not claim to have all the answers. Because we really don’t. Have all the answers. Only the Lord of infinite mystery has them all. All of us, Pope and bishops and priests and people—all of us have a pilgrim road to follow. All of us must open up our little minds to the light of God, which can put things into perspective in a way we never saw before.
But this is the opposite of moral relativism. To be guided by the loving hand of the Father means obedience. It means obedience to the most ancient truths. Moses received commandments on Mount Sinai from the same God of infinite love Who was born on Christmas morning and Who grew up to speak at length about how He keeps the fires of hell hot for the hypocrites and scoffers and abusers of the innocent.
Holy Father points out that there are paths down which the Church should not accompany people:
Spiritual accompaniment must lead others ever closer to God, in whom we attain true freedom. Some people think they are free if they can avoid God; they fail to see that they remain existentially orphaned, helpless, homeless. They cease being pilgrims and become drifters, flitting around themselves and never getting anywhere. To accompany them would be counterproductive if it became a sort of therapy supporting their self-absorption and ceased to be a pilgrimage with Christ to the Father.
Fellow evangelists, let’s see God’s commandments, strict as they may be, for what they really are: A great gift our Father has given us to help us reach the goal of true, undying happiness. Let’s propose them to the world by our example and our words. They exist for this reason: With them, we can follow God’s plan for our lives. Without them…well, we do not want to go there.**
** “Wailing, gnashing of teeth, and the worm never dies.”