We’ve all heard the saying, but why are so many knowledgeable people not in power?
Why are so many powerful people not very knowledgeable (or operating from half truths)?
What purpose does knowledge serve at all if reality shows that the knowledgeable are not in power?
The answer can actually be found in asking, what is power? Or rather, what is true power? True power is what makes Christians the thorn in the side of all dictators, tyrants, and anyone who has tried to squelch or enslave the Catholic Church since its beginning.
True power is a paradox; it appears weak to the world – ineffective, inconsequential, worthless. In reality, though, true power conquers all. True power is self-emptying love. True power is death and resurrection in Jesus Christ.
Why should a good Catholic gain knowledge then, if it’s all about Jesus? St. Catherine of Siena explains this clearly: “One who knows more, loves more.” Ah, there we go; those who have knowledge are able to love more perfectly, so therefore they are truly powerful.
Here we discover that we don’t so much seek to know a ‘what’ as much as it is a ‘who.’ It is God. God is Love; God is Truth. In knowing him we discover who we are meant to be – human beings fully alive.
St. Catherine says, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” One of our mottos in SSP is “Catholicism on Fire.” Our patron, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, lived this. He sought to know Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, in all that he did. He was even planning on using the knowledge he gained from his engineering degree to serve the miners of West Germany. Pier Giorgio had a well-formed and a well-informed faith. Through it he set his world on fire with the love of Christ. That fire is beauty, as St. Augustine says, “Love is the beauty of the soul,” and beauty will save the world. It is a participation in the salvation of the world. In love we die with Christ on the cross, and in love we rise with him to eternal life. This union of love is accomplished most perfectly in the Eucharist. If we answer the call to live that love, both in great and in small acts, we will set the world on fire.