Essay: Seeing With the Eyes of God

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Secretum Meum Mihi Press

Seeing with the Eyes of God

by Kristen West McGuire

The ants of summer have arrived. I caught one in the second floor bathroom, and another by the basement television. (The subterranean ant looked better fed, nearer the cracker crumbs!) My youngest spent hours face to face with them on the patio. Then, smoosh!

If I wait long enough, Mother Nature will take care of my pest problem with frost. But I’m unwilling to share my abode for the summer, so I redirected them to the Raid ant “hotel.” I’m just exercising my dominion over the plants and animals of the Kingdom. It’s all biblically correct.

But contextually, I pause. Aren’t I like an ant compared to my Lord? Doesn’t he watch my every move, full of suspense? The analogy dies as fast as the ants in the “hotel.”

Human beings are not animals, but creatures created in the image and likeness of God. And God isn’t capricious, immobile with wonder one moment and smashing the wanderers the next. But my vision is rather limited, just like the ant. Do the shadows I fear resemble tolerant toddlers or efficient housewives, spiritual succor or soul-smashing evil?

In between the freshness of youth and the wisdom of old age, we often misjudge the magnitude of both mountains and molehills.

In April 1933, after losing her professorship at Munster, Edith Stein wrote a letter to Pope Pius XI, politely requesting he denounce the anti-Semitism of the ascendant Nazi regime. She never received a response.

The Vatican signed a concordat with the Third Reich in July 1933, the first vain attempt at negotiation with Hitler. Unintentionally, the Church only strengthened the Reich. The crimes of the Nazis largely were not widely known until after the war.

We are a human, fallible Church, individually and corporately. United in the mystery of Christ, our actions and inactions affect the entire body. It is possible to misjudge a situation in myriad ways. Humility is born of a deep appreciation for human weakness.

However, true humility is a vigorous virtue. Based on the Latin word humilis, it connotes a low position in a hierarchy. Thus, healthy humility acknowledges the Creator, in addition to intimacy with His creatures.

God has infinite mercy on us, especially when none of our options appear right. From the crucible of the Nazi occupation of Europe, many great leaders emerged, including Pope John Paul II. He lived long enough to see Nazism and Communism crushed, and a renewal of the Catholic Church itself in the Second Vatican Council.

Edith Stein could not avoid death. She told her mother superior that her death would be united to Jesus’ redemptive death. She wasn’t exalting herself, but humbly giving testimony to God’s vision for her life.

May we always find inspiration in the humble circumstances of our worst challenges. God will find us there and exalt the lowly.

Peace be with you,

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