Fr. Roy Cimagala
We have to understand this point well. Being the faculty we use to know and later to love, our reason just cannot be beholden to the data provided by our senses and our own understanding of things.
That would confine our reasoning to the world of the sensible and the intelligible, that is, to the world of matter and of ideas. Thus conditioned, our reason cannot go beyond those levels and would miss the world of the spiritual and the supernatural. It would get trapped in some subjective mode as opposed to what is objective.
It’s important that we do some disciplining to our reasoning because it tends to get contented only with the sensible and the intelligible in the many forms that they come and attract us. It can willingly let itself be held hostage by these dimensions of reality.
We know that our reason does not create the truth. It does not create the reality. It can only appre-hend, reflect, process and transmit the truth and reality. It will always depend on a reality that is outside and independent of itself.
And reality just cannot be sensible and intelligible. A lot more goes into it than what our senses can per-ceive and our intelligence can discern and under-stand. Our reason itself, if used properly, can acknowledge that at the limits of its capability, it can discern a world that is beyond the physical and the ideal.
No matter how perceptive and intelligent we are, we can always detect that there is another world that is beyond the sensible and the intelligible. This is the world where our senses and intelligence cannot anymore cope.
This is where we need to humble ourselves, a predicament that many of us find hard to resolve. We tend to hold on only to our own ideas and the facts and data that we can ma-nage to ga-ther, guided mainly by our senses and intellect. In short, we make our own selves, and to be more specific, our own senses and intellect, to be our own sole guide, our own god.
We have to do something drastic about this. And the first thing we can do is to let our faith and trust in our human authorities to go to its ultimate level, that is, to have faith and trust in a living God who is infinitely above our natural way of knowing.
In other words, we have to see to it that our first and indispensable need is God from whom all of us and the entire creation come and to whom we all belong. We have to show this by developing an abiding sense of piety where everything that we have in this life should point us to God. We have to break loose from a certain mindset that confines and restricts us to the natural level of things made of physical objects and ideas.
We have to see to it that our reasoning is always in need of faith which, as the Letter to the Hebrews describes it, “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (11,1) It’s God’s way of sharing with us what he knows about himself, about ourselves and about the whole creation. It’s a gift that we have to take care of. Fr. Roy Cimagala is Chaplain, Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE), Talamban, Cebu City, Email: email@example.com