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How to recognize a ‘blind guide’: Does he know darkness?

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Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 09/09/22

There’s nothing worse than the self-assurance of those who, having had no experience of anything, pose as teachers for others.

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Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

“Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?”

There’s nothing worse than the self-assurance of those who, having had no experience of anything, pose as teachers for others. For example, they’ve never really loved but want to explain love to others. They don’t pray but want to explain prayer to others. They don’t make radical choices but want to explain non-negotiable values to others.

How can we recognize these “blind guides”? Or how can we recognize when we are the ones setting ourselves up as “blind guides”?

Usually, those who explain things to others without having experienced them never talk about their own difficulties. By contrast, those who, for example, have truly loved know what it means to clash with their own selfishness, with the struggle of dying to self.

Or those who truly pray know what it means to go through dryness and the feeling that God does not exist.

Or those who give a radical example know very well how much mercy we have to use in pointing out the great ideals, because very often we come up against our real limitations.

In short, enlightened guides know the darkness and tell it without shame; blind ones, on the other hand, talk only about the light, giving the feeling that everything is taken for granted, as if they were reading a good speech from a book. 

~

Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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DiscipleshipGospelSpiritual Life
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