Skip to comments.What are you going to believe, your eyes or your ears?
Posted on 01/16/2013 3:12:52 PM PST by NYer
I have found myself in recent years insisting that people believe their ears and not their eyes.
Now our flesh demands to see by its own unregenerate power, only then will the flesh say it believes. But the truth is, our flesh does not often believe even when it sees. We usually figure, “they have some way of doing that” or perhaps we’ll say, “This is a trick, an illusion.” And illusionist can do some pretty amazing stuff! (See the video below).
But the Scriptures are clear to say that Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17) . It also says, Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen (Heb 11:1). Even Thomas who is said to believe because he sees is really confessing something he cannot see, that Jesus is Lord and God (Jn 20:29).
For example, when it comes to the sacraments we have to believe our ears, for our eyes cannot see the reality that faith declares to be so. St. Thomas Aquinas in the beautiful hymn Adoro Te Devote says:
And thus I must often remind people when it comes to sacraments:
What are you going to believe….your eyes or your ears?
What are you going to believe, your eyes or your ears?
Your flesh demands to see. But I promise you, even if you do see, your flesh will explain it away. Consider this video. Illusionists can do some pretty amazing things. But notice how quickly your flesh is willing to explain it away. And this case it should for these are illusions. But what if you saw a real miracle? What do you suppose your flesh would do? What do you suppose?
Faith comes by hearing.
I always recall Pope Benedict's meeting with the children preparing for their First Communion. Among the questions posed was the following. Read the pope's brilliant response.
In preparing me for my First Communion day, my catechist told me that Jesus is present in the Eucharist. But how? I can't see him!
No, we cannot see him, but there are many things that we do not see but they exist and are essential. For example: we do not see our reason, yet we have reason. We do not see our intelligence and we have it. In a word: we do not see our soul and yet it exists and we see its effects, because we can speak, think and make decisions, etc. Nor do we see an electric current, for example, yet we see that it exists; we see this microphone, that it is working, and we see lights. Therefore, we do not see the very deepest things, those that really sustain life and the world, but we can see and feel their effects. This is also true for electricity; we do not see the electric current but we see the light.
So it is with the Risen Lord: we do not see him with our eyes but we see that wherever Jesus is, people change, they improve. A greater capacity for peace, for reconciliation, etc., is created. Therefore, we do not see the Lord himself but we see the effects of the Lord: so we can understand that Jesus is present. And as I said, it is precisely the invisible things that are the most profound, the most important. So let us go to meet this invisible but powerful Lord who helps us to live well.
CATECHETICAL MEETING OF THE HOLY FATHER WITH CHILDREN WHO HAD RECEIVED THEIR FIRST COMMUNION DURING THE YEAR
That’s beautiful! Thanks for posting.
Thanks for posting this. It came at a time in my life when I most needed it. I’m grateful to Msgr. Pope for writing this.
We can’t see grace, either, but we know we have it.
God is good.
You are most welcome. This post was evidently intended fro you!
The Monsignor is absolutely right about listening. Oftentimes while at mass, I find myself distracted. Whenever that happens, I close my eyes and listen to the readings and prayers. The words take on greater meaning. Try it some time.
“Hear, O Israel....”
At my Scripture class last night we were talking about the same thing!
We all agreed that distractions can come, especially in prayer and at Mass.
We agreed that when those times come, we can close our eyes and “hear” with our heart if at prayer, and/or hear the readings and prayers at Mass with our eyes closed but our ears opened.
This is why reading this writing of Msgr. Pope this morning was so relevant. :-)