Overcoming our blindness

- Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

That gospel character Bartimaeus, the blind man, gives us a precious lesson with respect to a certain blindness that we all have. Like him, we have to acknowledge our blindness and humbly beg Christ for a cure by repeating Bartimaeus' words, "Master, I want to see" (ut videam). (Mk 10,51)

Though we may enjoy good vision at the moment, we have to realize that to be able to see things properly and completely, we simply do not rely on our eyes nor any of our senses.

Our eyes and senses can only capture a little part of the whole reality that governs us. They can only perceive what are called the sensible realities, still light-years away from the intelligible, not to mention the spiritual and supernatural aspects of reality.

Still what they get and gather are very useful and in fact are indispensable, since the data they give are like the raw material that will be processed by our more powerful faculties of intelligence and will. In this sense we can already consider ourselves as suffering from some kind of blindness.

We need to be more aware that nowadays there is a strong tendency to base our knowledge of things mainly on the material and sensible realities alone. That's why we have these disturbing phenomena of materialism and commercialism comprising our mainstream world of knowledge and understanding.

We have to correct this tendency because that simply is not the whole of reality. Our senses can only have a limited view of things. And what is worse, that limited condition is aggravated by the effects and consequences of our sins that not only limit but also distort reality.

Thus, if our thinking, judging and reasoning are simply based on the sensible and the material, we would miss a lot of things and would unavoidably get into trouble. We end up making our own world, our own reality which is actually a fantasy, an illusion, if not a delusion.

This is where we have to very strongly acknowledge our blindness so that we recognize what is lacking and wrong with us, and start to look for where the remedy and cure can be found.

We should imitate Bartimaeus in that when he realized it was Christ passing by, he immediately screamed, "Son of David, have pity on me!" We have to acknowledge that we are blind and that we are in great need of help that can only come from God who is our Creator, Father and Provider for everything that we need.

Being the Creator, God is the one who has designed everything in the world. He is the one who knows its ins and outs, what is real and not real, good and bad, etcetera. It is from him and with his light that we can see things clearly and completely.

We should not simply depend on our senses or on our intelligence and will and the other faculties we have, like our memory, imagination and other talents, no matter how excellent they are. At best, they are meant to be mere instruments.

They should not be made as the ultimate source of truth and primary means to know the whole of reality. Obviously, to acknowledge this would require a great amount of humility, since we tend to make our own selves as the ultimate god, reflecting the very error of the first sin that took place in Eden with our first parents.

And nowadays, with the great progress of our sciences and technologies, we have a formidable temptation to make ourselves our own god, the maker and not just the stewards of the universe, deciding on what is true and false, good and bad, and on the destinies of everyone.

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