Many times, in the realm of ideas, we talk of infiltration when we mean getting influenced or carried away by a set or type of ideas that may have effect in our type of behavior. Hence an ancient Latin saying runs like this: “Ideae regunt mundum” (translated: It is ideas that rule the world). I heard that quoted before by the late Archbishop Alberto Piamonte, of Jaro, Iloilo . Even the word ideology refers to ideas of an individual, group or culture. If infiltration in the dictionary generally refers to a substance or liquid gradually permeating into another, the same may apply to ideas of an individual, group or culture contaminating various groups or people, whether individual or taken together in classes or groups. To discern the veracity or falsity of the ideas, we must follow what God’s word tells us: You know the false prophets or teachers by their fruit as you would a sound or rotten tree by the good or bad fruit they produce (cf. Mt. 7:15). The Lord gives us a stern warning about deceptive teachers or prophets who come as if they were gentle sheep but only generate violence, confusion and division. Consider the many bloody conflicts or wars in the world that originated from false reformers. They pretended to be what they are not, that is why Jesus asks us to unmask their hypocrisy by looking at their fruits. So also does Christ’s Church evaluate their lives, whether they are humble or proud, truthful or liars, obedient or disobedient to legitimate authority in the Church or civil government. Ultimately, whether they follow Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the life (cf. Jn. 8:12, Jn. 14:6), who at the Gethsemane garden prayed in this wise to His Heavenly Father: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine” (Lk. 22:42).
In the overt phenomenon of the diverse losses of holy vocations or heresies in the past and present time, it is but imperative that we evaluate our own spiritual situation. Are we sincerely seeking for the ‘truth that sets us free’ (Jn. 8:32)? That calls for much seriousness and truth in the heart. The prophet Jeremiah is so reassuring as he communicates God’s instruction to each of us—“When you seek me you shall find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). Shakespeare in his play Hamlet was expressing an essential truth to counter any deep-seated hypocrisy in oneself: “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man (Hamlet Act i, sc. 3).