Friday, February 11, 2005
The Wisdom of I. Q. Lowe
I. Q. Lowe's famous book, "Gravity for Beginners", made its appearance in Bugs Bunny (copyright Warner Brothers cartoons) as the book that shattered the "invincible ignorance" of Elmer Fudd about gravity. That episode can teach us a thing or two. "Invincible ignorance" is used in Catholic Theology to express the faultlessness of the invincibly ignorant should he/she be unable to properly respond in faith to the good news of the Kingdom. In this particular episode, Elmer Fudd walks off a cliff and continues to walk on thin air. This is because he was only child then, so he was invincibly ignorant of gravity, and hence, gravity did not affect him. Until he reads a book on gravity that Bugs gives him, of course. He then quips after realizing his situation that "ignorance is the best policy." I mention that episode for two reasons: First, I am ashamed to admit that it took months for me to pluck up the courage to speak out about my faith in this way. No, I wasn't simply waiting for the Year of Evangelization to be proclaimed by the Church this year. I was simply too chicken. I had all sorts of excuses, such as (1) blog sites are expensive to pay for, and (2) it would be a doomed venture as I would be ineffective and might give up in shame within a week. I wish I were so invincibly ignorant as to excuse me from all this, but there has been this urge to stand up and speak (or write) about matters of faith for 4 years now. I have tried quite hard to resist it, but it was like dancing the cha-cha. I would spend hours and hours studying, give up on the idea, then get back to reading, studying, taking notes, and so on. I can resist no longer. I realize that I am not faultless in resisting because I am NOT invincibly ignorant. Invincible ignorance presumes that the impulse and the means to rectify the ignorance are absolutely absent and impossible. It took all of 2 minutes to verify that blogger.com was free (at least I haven't been sent the bill yet.. ), and I cannot really prove the futility of this venture until I have tried it. My second reason in mentioning Bugs, Elmer and M. Lowe's book on gravity came into my head just now. It relates to the reason for this blog. It has been almost 500 years since Protestant Christianity walked away from the Roman Catholic Church. It has been almost 1000 years since the split between the Orthodox Churches and Roman Catholic Church. It has been 2000 years or so since Christ established his Church. How much longer can we remain stiff-knecked people, refusing to heed his priestly prayer for unity in John 17, repeated a number of times by St. Paul, that we must not divide the Church, that we must be One Body as we share One Bread which is Christ? St. Paul must be beside himself in horror as we fight among ourselves while non-believers laugh at our disunity and completely miss the sign that God had sent us the Son (John 17:21). Yet most of us do nothing, not even so much as to acknowledge what the Lord plainly said in John 17. On this matter, we cannot be considered "invincibly ignorant". The Bible proclaims it, and the Church proclaims it. We know what the Lord wants, and in these dark days, the need is greater than ever. First and foremost, we must reject the notion that the present situation of so many denominations disagreeing in crucial matters of doctrine is acceptable to God. We must, in all faith and hope, be convinced that God will rectify this, but we cannot presume that we are not called to participate in the cause of unity in His kingdom.