Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Weak Eye

Joe’s recent post about a third eye reminded me of another outstanding analogy from Frank Sheed that involves vision.
We all have a secular eye and a spiritual eye. Many Catholics end up with a weak spiritual eye because they don’t know or exercise their faith.
What happens if we have one weak eye? There is lack of focus; we cannot see reality clearly. This can explain how those who are highly educated in secular things can lack spiritual common sense. We can even be educated out of our faith as the secular eye gets stronger and stronger, while the spiritual eye is ignored and grows weaker and weaker (no exercise).
Once we find that reality seems unclear, what can we do? We can either exercise the weak eye and build its strength or close it entirely and forget it. Too many Catholics opt to close the weak eye because this is the easiest way to maintain focus, the path of least resistance, the wide road. Closing one eye will cost us our depth perception, but what are we to do? Exercise is so very hard and we are so very lazy!

It’s not too early to ponder a New Year’s Resolution. Many revolve around physical fitness, which is a good thing, but try exercising that spiritual eye more often in 2012.


  1. The path to the Kingdom is narrow and strewn with thorns.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. If a child has a 'lazy eye' or a 'squint' (properly called a strabismus)when they are very young the orthoptist (an ophthalmic professional who deals with ocular muscle problems and that sort of thing) will quite often recommend that their good or 'strong' eye be patched, covered up, in order that the weaker one can have the opportunity to catch up, so-to-speak. If this isn't done before the age of around seven there is a large chance one eye will always be noticeably weaker than the other. It can even lead to a condition known as amblyopia, where a person sees considerably better with one eye than the other. One eye will always be blurry, one eye always sharp.

    With our faith we cannot afford to have one blurry eye. At times, when our secular eye seems to be dominating, it is very refreshing (and very healthy) for us to, quite literally, cover it up and try to see purely through the eye of faith. Letting go of the world and it's many colourful distractions can be difficult, painful even, to begin with but it allows our faith to build up quietly but powerfully within us, bringing us, and keeping us, closer to Christ.

    You can tell I'm a Dispensing Optician can't you?

  4. Kleine,
    Great to here from an eye doctor! Thanks & Merry Chistmas.

  5. Hi Ben,
    Very insightful not a play on words.

  6. From most of the posts you write you don't have, or don't use, a third eye, you blindly follow the teachings of the Church assuming that Catholic doctrine will lead you down a better path than introspection and reason (let alone personal revelation).

    1. We all "blindly" follow things we cannot prove: Philosophies, ideologies, politics, values, morals, etc. If Catholicism is just another world view, you and I are in the same boat. If the Catholic world view is correct, I’m on the higher ground in the topography of reality.

    2. Indeed we do Ben, but the point I was making is that in this post you suggest using the inner 3rd eye for spiritual guidance whereas in most others you advocate taking the teachings of the church as gospel (if you'll pardon the pun).

      Which is it? Introspection and personal revelation, or blind adherence to Catholic doctrine regardless of personal reason and spiritual insight? You can't have it both ways.

    3. If you study Catholicism, you will find it is actually very much about “having it both ways”. Joe and I call it “both/and”. It is a religion of paradox (not contradiction). Absolute distance and absolute proximity, the greatest and the least, the first and the last, weakness brings strength, death brings life,inner guidance and Chruch teaching.