Author: Robert Hurtgen | Source: Catholic.Net
The present age is full of “experts.” With the assistance of our over-specialized college and university programs, these experts increase by the thousands year after year. They can frequently be seen on television programs and writing for newspapers and blogs. Using today’s “accepted vocabulary,” they confidently inform us as to the “nuances” we have missed, the “perspectives” we are lacking, and the “angles” we have failed to consider.
While these experts may know certain (very selective) fields well, you may be surprised with how little they actually know. We should be on guard against the assumption that the personalities that speak to us from television or the internet are knowledgeable simply because they are seen on T.V., write for major publications, or have advanced degrees.
As Catholics, we profess to love and follow the “Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Christianity professes unabashedly its conviction that the Truth is a Person, Christ. We must ask ourselves, if one doesn’t know Christ and His Truth, then what does one really know? The answer is not much.
The experts of our age do not seem to know Christ very well. In fact, many of them have deemed Him irrelevant. The same goes for those who say they believe in Him. We all know the empty and hallow glance of incomprehension which visits the faces of the world-wise of our age when they encounter a sincere Christian. They use the word ‘religious’ as if it were a dirty one, with a clear note of sinister disregard. The man or woman who goes to Mass on Sundays- and will schedule around that holy obligation as if it really mattered- is considered as not far off from fanaticism. Whatever doleful and regrettable conspiracy of influences gave rise to such attitudes, the fact that these attitudes surround us is obvious.
The shocking assertion of St Paul sounds forth as clearly today as it did millennia ago: “God’s wisdom is wiser than the wisdom of this world.” The man who knows and understands that God created the world out of nothing, and that He did this out of love, knows far more about our universe than the physicist who labors in his laboratory. The woman who knows that God created her soul and redeemed it by the blood of His Son knows vastly more about the human condition than the most erudite among today’s psychologists. If the physicist and psychologist have faith, then they are much better off. But, today, that is increasingly unlikely and even improbable.
The Incarnate Lord spoke of a small mustard seed, which grows into a vast bush. For the one who believes, he has in his mind and heart the mustard seed of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding- the Creed. It is a rather small, short, and unassuming profession of faith, not even three hundred words. Yet, he who knows and believes what is professed in the Creed knows the greatest, highest, and most excellent things, the things that really matter. He knows far more than our experts. He may not be able to offer the explanations of the Creed’s articles that St Thomas did, but he knows what ultimately matters. Thus, the humble seed which is the Creed, when watered by lively faith, grows into a tree, which encompasses man, the world, and the universe. It reaches up to God Himself.
The learned of our times will always be quick to show us how backward and out-of-touch we are. Often, we will not be decorated with the degrees and certificates which they possess. We must remember, however, that we know the truth of things much better than they do. This confidence will preserve the foundation of our house from collapse. We can also rejoice that God so lovingly willed to share with humble men and women the fullness of His Truth. No “expert” can rob us of this treasure. Our joy will be most pure when we allow our minds to think of her who knew and loved the Truth best of all: the humble, unassuming, and poor Mother of God. She so unspeakably housed the Truth that she bore Him in His human nature. But who among the learned of our age would go to consult her?