A healthy superiority complex PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 14 August 2015 14:04

REFLECTION

We, of course, should be simple and humble, meek and with fondness to pass unnoticed. We are in fact told, if we care to follow Christ, to deny ourselves and carry the cross. We should not seek self-assertion and self-glorification.

As St. Paul would put it: “We have become, and are now, the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things.” (1 Cor 4,13) That’s how we have to look at ourselves if we want to be true to Christ. We may just be a bundle of ciphers in the many departments of life, but if we have Christ before all them, the more zeroes we have, the greater we would become in dignity and stature.

Yet, despite all these Christian indications, we have to learn to be bold to know the truth, as well as to spread it as widely and as persistently as possible, and especially to defend it, when attacked, which seems to be the trend these days, and when charity demands we do.

In this, we should not be afraid and hesitating, but rather willing to take on the challenge, together with all inconveniences or sufferings that may be involved, convinced that such sufferings would be a suffering with Christ and in Christ. Besides, Christ clearly told us to be as clever as serpents while remaining as innocent as doves.

True, we may be the refuse and the offscouring of the world, but we have the truth from God, and we have the duty to proclaim, spread and defend it. We have to learn to carry out that duty always with charity that has its own elegance and eloquence, naturalness and forcefulness.

This boldness and fearlessness with and in Christ is the healthy superiority complex we are talking about here. And this is no gratuitous claim since there’s solid basis for this. First of all, because God always gives us the grace for this purpose and he gives it to us in abundance.

In this, St. Paul reassures us: “God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work.” (2 Cor 9,8)

The life and missionary work of St. Paul himself lend credence to these words. We need to engrave this Pauline assurance into our mind and hearts, making it a guiding conviction in our thoughts, words and deeds. If we have to have an attitude, I believe this has to be it.

Especially these days when we are faced with many hot-button issues that deftly mix truths and lies, good and evil, not to mention, bear an openly hostile attitude toward the Christian faith, we need men and women who can expose and explode the many subtle sophistries involved in the arguments.

I was just amazed that in a recent interview of a US presidential candidate, for example, the interviewer had the temerity to tell the candidate, a Catholic who tried to be consistent with his faith, that he should go beyond his faith and stick to what science would indicate with respect to when human life begins.

I was happy to learn that the candidate told his interviewer that he makes his faith the basis of his politics and everything else in his life, and that science has borne out his belief. That is the boldness that is needed these days.

After all, if we would really analyze the whole argument, it is the faith that has the first and last word of what is real and not real, what is true and false, what is good and evil, moral and immoral.

It’s not our man-made sciences, though they can obviously reinforce the faith and help us to discover more things about our faith. Our sciences can only be the handmaid of our faith, not the other way around.

Today’s generation is what may be described by Christ himself as a “perverse generation,” sunk in a lot of rationalized errors and immoralities that are sustained by cleverly crafted ideologies, sanitized soundbites and blinding and deafening rhetoric, plus a lot of money and political clout.

We need leaders and men and women who have that healthy superiority complex to show and convey the truth in season and out of season, who can drown evil with an abundance of good, without being cowed by the tremendous difficulties, resistance, insults and mockery.

If we pray, offer sacrifices, study our doctrine well, develop the virtues, have recourse to the sacraments, wage interior struggle, etc., we can have this healthy superiority complex so much needed these days.