instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In plain sight

I think there are a couple of things to learn from Jesus' prayer of praise in Mt 11:25:
"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike."
The first is that, although the Father has hidden these things from the wise and the learned, He has revealed them to the childlike.

The second is that this fact is worthy of praise.

Being wise and learned is not, of course, bad in itself. Wisdom and knowledge are two of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But so are piety and fear of the Lord, the two last and most childlike gifts. There's no reason someone can't be both learned and childlike -- or rather, being learned is no excuse for not being childlike before God. If there are wise and learned people to whom the Father has revealed the mysteries of salvation, it is not by virtue of their wisdom and learning, but of their childlike piety.

And this, I suppose, is at least part of what makes the Father's revelation worthy of praise. Not everyone is capable of great natural wisdom and learning, but everyone can be childlike. There are no extraordinary prerequisites to receiving God's grace. In fact, thanks to our fallen condition being extraordinary can sometimes be a hindrance.

(This thought reminds me of the third sorrowful mystery of the Rosary, the Crowning with Thorns. Mighty few disciples of Christ will ever be in a position in this life to receive a crown of gold and honor, but we are all within reach of a crown of thorns and derision.)