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So Much Straw

06/03/2010 Comments (3)

We funny little humans are far too often far too impressed with ourselves. We look around at all of our wonderful, technologically advanced toys and think very highly of ourselves. It smacks of Babel.

People from all over the world are unifying, using common language, and building something more impressive than the world has ever seen. But are we building it for the worship and praise of Yahweh? Not a chance. We’re building it for ourselves. We are building it to have our own “top in the heavens.” We build to make our name famous. It’s all about us and what we are capable of. All of this amazing technology, “progressive” ideas and philosophical “enlightenment” has freed us of gravity. There are no more limits to how high we can build our tower. That’s the garbage our so amazingly brilliant and evolutionarily advanced brains feed our egos, anyway.

And yet no mention of the One who steadily holds us in our fragile existence.

So is it any wonder that the children growing up inside such a tower of Babel have forgotten God? Is it any wonder that they scoff at the humility of needing a deity? Of course not. We’ve created an environment that breeds such children. God won’t get any credit if we’re not even allowed to mention Him. And oh my, aren’t we the cleverest animal at the party if we just don’t invite, oh you know, THE Creator of the Universe! Hello.

In his general audience yesterday, Pope Benedict said this on the life of St. Thomas Aquinas:

“In the final months of his life, St. Thomas—who died in 1274 at the Abbey of Fossanove, Italy when he was heading to Leon to participate in an ecumenical council—confessed to his friend Reginald of Piperno that, after a divine revelation, he considered his work as ‘so much straw’, writing nothing further afterward.

It is a mysterious episode that helps us understand not only Thomas’ personal humility but also the fact that all that we are able to think and say about the faith, as elevated and pure as it may be, is infinitely surpassed by the greatness and beauty of God who will reveal himself to us in the fullness of paradise.”

If the Summa Theologiae is just straw, then what does that make all of this other stuff?  It’s all infinitely surpassed by the greatness and beauty of God.

Filed under aquinas, babel, humility, pope benedict xvi

About Matthew Warner

Matthew Warner
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Matthew Warner is a lover of God, his wife, his kids, his life, cookies, hot-buttered bread, snoozin' & awkward (as well as not awkward) silence. He is the founder and CEO of Flocknote, the creator of Tweet Catholic, a contributing author to The Church and New Media book, and writer/founder at The Radical Life. Matt has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship. He and his family hang their hats in Texas.