A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The veils

In today’s first reading (2 Corinthians 3:15-4:1, 3-6), St. Paul applies an Old Testament image (the veil over the face of Moses) to the inability of the Jewish people to recognize the full Messianic dimension of Scripture as revealed and fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ, to how faith in Christ removes the veil, and to how “the god of this age” has likewise veiled the minds of “unbelievers.”

To this day, whenever Moses is read,
a veil lies over the hearts of the children of Israel,
but whenever a person turns to the Lord
the veil is removed.
Now the Lord is the Spirit
and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom.
All of us,
gazing with unveiled face
on the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image
from glory to glory,
as from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Therefore, since we have this ministry
through the mercy shown us,
we are not discouraged.
(Rather, we have renounced shameful hidden things;
not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God,
but by the open declaration of the truth
we commend ourselves to everyone's conscience
in the sight of God.)
And even though our Gospel is veiled,
it is veiled for those who are perishing,
in whose case the god of this age
has blinded the minds of the unbelievers,
so that they may not see the light of the Gospel
of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord,
and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus.
For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness,
has shone in our hearts to bring to light
the knowledge of the glory of God
on the face of Jesus Christ.

This passage also should lead us to consider some of the other veils that afflict us (especially in these days), that try to keep us from grasping fully the truth of God, and that are easily overcome only by the grace and revelation of God. (I have selected just seven veils here, in no particular order.)

Finitude – the most natural and inescapable veil that limits the mind, made only worse by human intellectual arrogance.

Lust and other desires – a collection of veils attached by our fallen nature that frequently blind us to what is right and wrong.

False freedom – a childish veil that keeps us from acknowledging what is right because we are tempted by materialistic slaveries that falsely present themselves as the way of autonomy or freedom

Manipulative media – the words, sounds, and images that distort reality and clutter our minds

False philosophies – either materialistic sophistry, critically flawed theologies, or misleading axioms that may be embraced by people of good will but that nonetheless keep us from understanding the fullness of God’s revelation

Trendsetters – celebrities, politicians, or other opinion-makers who distract us and lead us astray

Hate and Fear – veils of emotion that may often cloud our judgment and keep us from reaching out in truth and love as God wants us.

What other veils blind us?

May we always turn to Christ and ask him to lift these veils from us, so that we may clearly see the truth that we should live in our lives and may live that way.