Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Catholic World View

We all have different ways of looking at the world, at others and at ourselves. Which means that we look upon the same incidents and see things differently. This is well known to all of us, and a professor of  Scripture in his article in the Catholic Times wants us to reflect on what it means to have a Catholic world view.

This world view, formed by our various ways of looking at the world, is then called upon to help us  interpret what we see, and how we judge ourselves. The whole of us, our personality, influences the way we see reality, influencing not only how we see others and our own lives, but what we accept or reject of world history. Our resulting world view largely determines whether we see the world as an optimist or as a pessimist. And it all hinges on what we choose to see.

Jesus made much of our ability to see, "The eye is the body's lamp" (Matt.6:22). What does Jesus mean by this? the professor asks. He explains that the ancients in the time of Jesus considered the eye to be like a lamp or a light that enabled one to see and dispel the darkness surrounding us.

Jesus also said, "If your eyes are good, your body will be filled with light; if your eyes are bad, your body will be in darkness." The professor wants us to understand that Jesus  is not talking about good or bad eyes but is using a metaphor to make his point clear. We are dealing here with an attitude, with the character of a person. The healthy eye is kind, magnanimous, upright; the unhealthy eye harbors resentment, greed, jealously. The healthy eye will be filled with light and the unhealthy eye will be filled with darkness.

The life of a Christian should be a way of seeing the whole of life, says the professor. Seeing life and others through the eyes of faith is an expression we often use. This is nothing else but seeing everything through the eyes of Jesus. Everything that Jesus did was to have God at the center. How do we discover, the professor asks, what Jesus came to give us?

By his words Jesus has taught us how to see the world and how to live in this world. It is not just doing what we have always done, following the ways of the past and of traditional beliefs. He invites us to see things with different eyes. The professor calls this a subversive wisdom, an alternative wisdom that overturns everything we had come to expect from life. This Christian way of seeing life from a new perspective springs from the uniqueness of our faith life. 

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