None so blind: refusal to see the obvious

None so blind: refusal to see the obvious

Fr John O'Neill

The Day of Judgment will produce all sorts of reactions among us, the human race. We will all be there. Perhaps one reaction will be a huge amount of blushing because we failed, at least to some degree, to see the obvious.

Surely there must be some kind of regret mysteriously mixed with the happiness of the saints: regret that they did not believe more fervently and serve more lovingly.

God makes things obvious to a world that has always been too busy to know Him, and to embody His wisdom in its law-making.

Who would believe that Saint Peter's Basilica was formed by extraordinary winds and earthquakes which just happened to place all the stones and holy images in their places? They would want to know who were the architect, the builder, the artists and sculptors.

Yet, even people who have been gifted with the highest of human intelligence, and working with the best means of modern science, when they gaze in wonder at the universe, declare with ridiculous solemnity that it just happened; or was always there.

"Ex nihilo nihil fit", shouted the wise man - "Nothing comes from nothing." A thing cannot come into being of itself, simply because it would have to be before it was. Absurd, yet some of the intelligentsia say it happened that way.

Or perhaps it was always there: again, absurd.

Can they not see that it is impossible for anything whose existence is measurable by time to be eternal that eternity cannot made up of limited periods of time? The reason is obvious: to an extension of time, more periods of time can always be added, so that, no matter how long you keep adding, you will always be able to add more.

The infinite cannot be made up of finite parts. Eternity and time are different in their essence.

Anyone who cannot see this as obvious has no right to sit in the chair of philosophy in any university - but they do, and the non-thinkers love it.

The world, then, had to have a beginning, a cause, a mover, a designer, and indeed, a purpose. What got into the thinking of philosophers that made them move away from the permanent security of such realities?

Independence from God

Perhaps it was nothing to do with thinking, but with wanting, or, more accurately, with willing. It has been man's will that has tried to get rid of God, not his mind.

Man did not want God. Why? Because man wanted to make his own rules of life, and make up his own 'truth' as to life's purpose.

Pride! Man wants to be able to claim control over his life, be responsible for his own satisfaction. He wants total independence.

Of course, this does not work, simply because the man next to him wants the very same. So, people have been glaring at each other and attacking each other since Cain slew Abel.

What strange people we can become if we are not careful. We know what things are for: who combs his hair with a toothbrush? Who sits on the table and eats off the chair?

We would declare abnormal anyone who did these things, yet perhaps the vast majority of people since Adam have been guilty of the giant abnormality: they know what combs are for, or chairs, but do not know what they themselves are for.

They reduce the glory of man's purpose to a few short years of a vain struggle to find some passing satisfaction, only to find it does, indeed, pass, and their thirsty search goes on.

There is another kind of man, however: the one who knows he is, of himself, inadequate, and using his intelligence properly, sees a glorious destiny for himself. And what a discovery he makes when he does what the genius, Augustine, did, in response the the little voice that whispered: " Tolle, lege," Take it up, read it.

Well, Augustine, great for his philosophy, did just that, and became greater for his godliness. He took and read, and there he met the glorious, risen Jesus Christ.

There's the world's trouble: it ignores the evidence of sound reasoning and ignores historic reality, all because it cannot bow its head to Someone greater than itself. So, man's history is very much a highway of destruction, his arrogance littering it still with his shattered wrecks.

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