Say, Can You See?"

Posted January 17, 2008

Say, Can You See?”

Did you hear about the nearsighted porcupine who was hospitalized when he mistook a cactus for his sweetheart?

Except as joke material, myopic porcupines are a rarity. But among humans, myopia is not uncommon – especially spiritual myopia. A surprising number of things we observe every day are distorted in our mind; our more “farsighted” outlook is impeded by what psychologists call “selective perceptivity.” When this happens, we subconsciously filter out some of the discomfiting elements of reality, such as many aspects of God’s providence, and also distasteful aspects of our failures.

Thus, an escape from a near disaster may not be for what it is – an intervention of divine providence-but simply as a “close call” or “stroke of luck” Or a breathtaking scene of a colorful sunset or ‘Capped mountain may be admired without “seeing its source-a loving Creator. Like toddlers at Christmas, we may “myopically” focus on the gift while ignoring the giver.

Evil, too, may be distorted. Abortion may be euphemized as a mere “termination of pregnancy” rather than as a heinous act of infanticide. Adultery regarded as a merely innocuous “affair.” “The eye is the lamp of the body,” said Jesus. “If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Mt 6:22-23). Let our prayer be that of the blind man. “Lord, I want to see!”

“One-Minute Meditations for Busy People” by Fr. John H. Hampsch, C.M.F.