Still considering how it is that there is divergence in Christianity and why some depart. Or, also, why some are prone to legalism, to laws of minds, functional as they may seem--I wonder.
I appreciate what The Catechism explains of the "old law" being a first stage of revealed law, of moral prescriptions, and why the law of Moses was necessary. It does make sense of matters even in the early church when some (personality tendency?) even then remained occupied with needing externals to form or uphold their ability to have faith.
"1980 The Old Law is the first stage of revealed law. Its moral prescriptions are summed up in the Ten Commandments."
"1981 The Law of Moses contains many truths naturally accessible to reason. God has revealed them because men did not read them in their hearts."
If we do not have truths--Jesus as the Way, the Truth, the Life--in our hearts, we may then turn to or actually need a first stage, such as the old law, moral prescriptions or externals such as what food to eat or not eat, or what various laws of minds are then created to give security to some or many.
In our lives and moral and spiritual development, we do seem to progress through phases. As St. Paul put it, we needed milk when young but later ought to live on pure spiritual food.
Perhaps, I do think, the divergences come when some progress to knowing Jesus, of having God's law of love and the ability to "read" the law of love in our hearts. Or, there are those who have not progressed to knowing either the Father or Jesus, who have not God's law, the greatest commandment, nor ability to read God's law of love in our hearts.
It thus seems crucial that we desire and pray to know Jesus and the Father or either One, and to be open and accepting to the Holy Spirit in our hearts, our inner sanctum of our souls. It is crucial to grasp with great faith, hope, and love, that we are within the Trinity and the Trinity is within us, always and everywhere.
Jesus gives us the prescription of spiritual life, as quoted in the Gospel of John.
"I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
In fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me."
So today, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit and child of God, lover of Christ my Spouse, will ask anew that I know deeply and truly, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I pray to love God with all my body, mind, heart, and spirit. I pray to love God in Himself, above all things, and to love others as God loves.
To know Jesus, to truly know Him, is to know the Father. To have love of Jesus in the depths of our beings, to know with assurance that He is in us and we are in Him--this is truth and eternal life.
I wonder if I know Jesus to the degree that I desire, or if I desire to know Jesus in the fullness of love of God in Himself? I suppose I would not know, nor is it necessary to know. What is needful is to simply keep loving, keep asking to love Him more and more, and to desire with fullness of body, mind, and heart, that His love will infuse love all the more in my soul.
This will be my hope, in faith, of holy charity, while I get up on the ladder that I will pull up onto the scaffolding, while I paint the stairwell trim, way up high, for the final effort before installing the stairs. Yes, in many ways literal and spiritual, the result may then be the stairway to heavenly love.