CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 18 March 2017

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The gift of confusion

We live as if our lives should last forever. But this is not the case. Even though we are aware of our mortal destiny, we continue to focus on extremely small things, even on our religious journey.

I am curious to speak with a deceased person, someone who was once as concerned as I am about the trivial things of this world. I have a feeling that their perspective would be more balanced than my current one,

When we develop symptoms that put the fear of a terrible illness into us we feel lost, because we are not ready to die, in fact I think few probably are.

We think of ourselves as profoundly rational beings, but maybe that is exactly what poses the biggest threat.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton spoke enlightening words on this, saying, “Everyone who has had the misfortune to talk with people in the heart or on the edge of mental disorder, knows that their most sinister quality is a horrible clarity of detail; a connecting of one thing with another in a map more elaborate than a maze.

“If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment.

“He is not hampered by a sense of humour or by charity, or by the dumb certainties of experience. He is the more logical for losing certain sane affections. Indeed, the common phrase for insanity is in this respect a misleading one.

“The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason,” Chesterton concludes.

It seems to me that we are all those that tend to be madmen and so, sometimes, we should bless the gift of confusion. We think we know what we are doing, but maybe we don’t and, perhaps, it would not be so good if we did.

 

 

 

  • Aurelio Porfiri