Writing of the “urgent need for discernment,” Pope Francis notes that when new things happen, we can be particularly vulnerable. Is something new genuine? Or is the novelty illusory? Dangerous, even?
This paragraph strikes me as apt as the scandals in the upper hierarchy pile up. Are we–all of us, including the pope–striving to examine and test everything, and still aspire to the freedom Christ offers?
168. This is all the more important when some novelty presents itself in our lives. Then we have to decide whether it is new wine brought by God or an illusion created by the spirit of this world or the spirit of the devil. At other times, the opposite can happen, when the forces of evil induce us not to change, to leave things as they are, to opt for a rigid resistance to change. Yet that would be to block the working of the Spirit. We are free, with the freedom of Christ. Still, he asks us to examine what is within us – our desires, anxieties, fears and questions – and what takes place all around us – “the signs of the times” – and thus to recognize the paths that lead to complete freedom. “Test everything; hold fast to what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
You can check the full document Gaudete et Exsultate on the Vatican website.