Friday, November 7, 2014

Knowledge in the Spiritual Life

Catholics do less studying than the members of other religions is a well known fact. Among Catholics this secret which is not a secret has been know for some time. The Desk Columnist of the Catholic Times wants us to reflect on this reality. Many of the  pseudo religions and our neighbors with religious beliefs know this, and make use of it in dealing with Catholics.

When the columnist was in school he remembers those that didn't have a taste for studies as they advanced in school were more frustrated and would be seen with those who did like to study. Was this a hope of learning something?  The chances of this are slight.

We know from the New Testament that Jesus did a lot of teaching to those who followed him. As a child the columnist remembers thinking how concerned God must have been to have sent his son to us. Jesus' big  task was to teach us, it was not to make us scholars but to  have us understand his kingdom. Not difficult to accept. 

Just looking over briefly sections of the New Testament we see Jesus teaching and  giving examples to his disciples. Teachings about the Kingdom of God, the overcoming of temptations, the need for prayer,forgiveness, teaching with parables and opening the eyes of his disciples with  understanding for his message were acts of  a meticulous father and teacher.

 Looking back on the life of Christ, even as a child Jesus showed us the efforts he made to study. He was in the  temple talking with the lawyers of the law and debating with the Pharisees and showing them where they were wrong.  

The word we use in Korean for study has its  origins in Buddhism. The columnist  tells us it meant to  clean, to improve to cultivate, especially efforts to do this in their meditation practices. The word analyzed: shows a workman, a person making efforts to be a full person, what one was meant to be.

There are many Catholics who put up a wall when it comes to study.To put it simply after baptism they do little to deepen what they have received. The God the Pharisees believed in was not the God that Christ was preaching. In the kingdom of God  we have entered at baptism we are meant to live with joy. We don't know why a person does not want to study, but what is easy to assume, he says, the joy of being in the kingdom here on this earth will not be as great without study.                                                                                                                                        

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