Apr 30, 2014
Some people write about the poor. Others speak about them. Still others like Pope Francis have worked among the poor. His witness of mercy and compassion speaks volumes. And the world has taken notice.
Other forms of poverty are more subtle.
Poverty of the Mind
Today, many educators worry that ‘our greatest problem is the poverty of the mind. Our whole educational system is failing in training the mind that seeks truth. Empty minds cannot generate wisdom. If we do not educate the mind, we perpetuate physical poverty. You cannot preach the Gospel to someone who does not believe in the capacity of the mind to know the truth,’ they say. There is further concern that our youth lack the desire for truth and for learning that nourishes the mind; the social media has claimed their time and attention.
Recently, in Crisis Magazine Online, Father James Schall, S.J. wrote an essay, “Why Silencing Christians Will Continue.” In it, he notes that truth is basic to virtue. He observes that “we no longer want to hear speech if it ‘offends’ someone’s feelings or self-defined identity. We have become infinitely tolerant of anything but truth itself. Speech is not directed to truth or falsity of an issue but to the ‘sensitivity’ and ‘compassion’ of those who hear it.” Without truth, there is no virtue.