RELIGION: COMMON SENSE CAN BE A COMMODITY IN SHORT SUPPLY

By Canon Gerry Conroy

Every now and again in the course of life, you come across someone who is extremely intelligent, but has no common sense; they haven’t managed to put all of their knowledge to any practical use that makes their life any better. I suppose we might say they were intelligent but lacking in wisdom. There is a distinction to be made between knowledge and wisdom; wisdom allows us to make use of what we know to make life better. The writer of that first reading on Sunday just past captures that idea when, because of wisdom, he speaks of all good things coming to him and riches not to be numbered – and by riches the word doesn’t just mean money, it means the fulness of life we are looking for.
The search for this Wisdom presumes that there is an order to life, a purpose in life, an ultimate meaning that is graspable by us, even attainable by us. And the Wisdom that the Bible speaks of finds this meaning and purpose open to us in creation and revelation. I think the man who came to Christ was searching for this wisdom, but there is a problem for him, despite observing the commands he didn’t feel he had found it in the law, as his reading of the Bible had told him he should.
That is a problem for many people, a problem our modern world has widely answered by saying there is no purpose or meaning in life other than what we give to it by our choices.  There is a confrontation going on in our world between two understandings: One understanding says our choices should be in accord with the purpose and meaning of life which is established by God the creator and redeemer. The other says we are free to make whatever choice we want in order to bring purpose and meaning to our life, in order to be myself.
When I look at the world, I see people, individuals adrift in a sea of isolation because they have opted to search for meaning and purpose in their own choices. They think their authenticity depends upon a freedom from any outside influence in order to be free to make their own choice. One philosopher of the modern period even wrote a book entitled ‘The Stranger’ where he took this idea to its logical conclusion and the hero of the story was executed for murder desiring to be hated by all so that he might know complete freedom.
The other view says to us that if we are to find our purpose, if our life is to be meaningful, if our freedom is to benefit us, we need to give ourselves to something. And it is not simply in the act of the giving of ourselves that we find peace. We must give ourselves to what is appropriate for us. Look at the number of people who give themselves to something only to find that ultimately it does not satisfy them. Therefore it is not in the act of giving alone, but also in what we give ourselves to. The Gospel today is telling us I think, that nothing will satisfy that need in the way that God does. But giving ourselves to God is not simply giving
ourselves to some idea, or ideal, it must be practical and concrete, so we have the command to love God and love our neighbour. Our giving is both individual and infinite. The alternative is to remain fixed on ourselves. There, we will always know the frustration of life: knowing the need to give ourselves and unable to find the answer as happened to the man who ran to Christ in search of answers. We will find the wisdom that opens us to the peace that comes with a purpose and meaning in our life by listening to Christ and acting on his words, even when they are difficult.

Canon Conroy is parish priest of St Patrick’s, Dumbarton

 

2 comments

  1. Oh! We are now at the point of peak insanity and going to Hell in a hand cart. Judas, the charity worker, cast himself as the self appointed “Saviour of the World.” Mr. 30 Pieces of Silver. Do you know anyone like that? Do you know any capitalists who treat human labour as a commodity for profit….and say we bring the Book of Love, gold good news and happy endings? So, who has been doing all the lying, robbing and killing for centuries…and who has been sweeping it all under the rug and ignoring it? I have already explained how true knowledge defies description in monotheistic and dualistic terms and how the Sign of the Cross is dialectical. So, what has this “common sense/intellect/wisdom” got to do with true knowledge? That is cobblers.

    Now I told you the Masons are taught Hegel…Fake Hegel, that is. In Hegel the individual/self is self sacrificing and ORGANIC or organised….their moral choices and social ethics are informed by the collective community. Their freedom is derived from the sovereignty of the nation state….free from the determinations of other states. As Subjects, falsely isolated abstractly into singular selves, they are never free to act above the law and orders of The State. That is a crime. But politically, the Masons are also liberal capitalists and so is The State. They can’t reconcile their self centred possessive individualism founded on exclusive private property rights with Hegel’s collectivism. So, Fake Hegel had to be invented….the individual had to be made in the image of a bunch of liberal and libertarian superficial hack economists and Cold War, anti-communist, lying propagandists such as Ayn Rand, Mises and Hayek. Thatcher said it for them, “There is no society.” There is the Anti-Christ to Hegel’s man or Christian Spirit….the true individual. Not the ravings of this Tory madwoman.

    Of course, the ruling capitalist class armed and bankrolled the lot. Tens of millions of unarmed and defenceless innocent civilians have been butchered because of it. This was supposed to be the “end of history.” We had arrived. This was democracy….mass murder on an industrial scale. On the contrary, what everyone actually saw was the decline and fall of the Western Empire…a mass of depraved puss and corruption and decadence. We weren’t all fooled by the optics, PR, sales, marketing and the MSM psyops operations.

    There is a confrontation. Communist China has won. Western capitalism has been the guest of honour at it’s own funeral for decades now. The one ray of hope remains with the American working class. Originally, these people tried to break free of European corruption and debauchery. But it wasn’t to be as the “Founding Fathers” made sure to adopt their twisted and evil US Constitution after the warped European model….capitalist, warmongering and imperialist in tooth and claw. Now a massive upsurge in pro-China communism is sweeping through the American working class, America could prove to be the salvation of the West after all. Otherwise, we look forward to COP26 in Glasgow and the latest news on emerging markets….if you can see through all the “rainbows and butterflies.” Yeah! It snows on the sun, doesn’t it?

  2. Oh well, James. That’s interesting. Some might even find it offensive, but this is a democracy, and this is The Democrat. We may not agree with you, but we defend your right to say what you have. Ed

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