Sunday, August 6, 2017

Our reason needs the faith

WE have to understand this point well. Being the faculty
we use to know and later to love, our reason just cannot be beholden
to the data provided by our senses and our own understanding of

            That would confine our reasoning to the world of the
sensible and the intelligible, that is, to the world of matter and of
ideas. Thus conditioned, our reason cannot go beyond those levels and
would miss the world of the spiritual and the supernatural. It would
get trapped in some subjective mode as opposed to what is objective.

            It’s important that we do some disciplining to our
reasoning because it tends to get contented only with the sensible and
the intelligible in the many forms that they come and attract us. It
can willingly let itself be held hostage by these dimensions of

            We know that our reason does not create the truth. It does
not create the reality. It can only apprehend, reflect, process and
transmit the truth and reality. It will always depend on a reality
that is outside and independent of itself.

            And reality just cannot be sensible and intelligible. A
lot more goes into it than what our senses can perceive and our
intelligence can discern and understand. Our reason itself, if used
properly, can acknowledge that at the limits of its capability, it can
discern a world that is beyond the physical and the ideal.

            No matter how perceptive and intelligent we are, we can
always detect that there is another world that is beyond the sensible
and the intelligible. This is the world where our senses and
intelligence cannot anymore cope.

            This is where we need to humble ourselves, a predicament
that many of us find hard to resolve. We tend to hold on only to our
own ideas and the facts and data that we can manage to gather, guided
mainly by our senses and intellect. In short, we make our own selves,
and to be more specific, our own senses and intellect, to be our own
sole guide, our own god.

            We have to do something drastic about this. And the first
thing we can do is to let our faith and trust in our human authorities
to go to its ultimate level, that is, to have faith and trust in a
living God who is infinitely above our natural way of knowing.

            In other words, we have to see to it that our first and
indispensable need is God from whom all of us and the entire creation
come and to whom we all belong. We have to show this by developing an
abiding sense of piety where everything that we have in this life
should point us to God. We have to break loose from a certain mindset
that confines and restricts us to the natural level of things made of
physical objects and ideas.

            We have to see to it that our reasoning is always in need
of faith which, as the Letter to the Hebrews describes it, “is the
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
(11,1) It’s God’s way of sharing with us what he knows about himself,
about ourselves and about the whole creation. It’s a gift that we have
to take care of.

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