Why Are We Fearful? And the Perils of Know-Everythingism

And when he entered into the boat, his disciples followed him: And behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but he was asleep. And they came to him, and awaked him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish. And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

St. Matthew 8:29

I nominate this (↑) as the featured Gospel passage for faithful Catholics over the next few years. Let me explain.

Please, don’t fall into know-everythingism.

There are people who have trouble believing unless they feel like they can intellectually understand everything that has happened in the Church or that is happening in the Church. This is the wrong way to approach matters and could possibly lead to you over-analyzing your way out of salvation.

There is no need to do this. It is OK not to understand everything. It is OK to not have an opinion on everything. It is OK to stop talking and be silent and contemplative for long periods of time. It is OK to be unsure. It is OK to accept mystery and to surrender ones fate to Divine Providence.

I personally have a great distrust for people who have an answer for everything; who have an opinion on everything; who talk incessantly all of the time; who are sure of themselves at all times; who will bluster their way through any conversation using scraps of information that they have accumulated over the years.

I do not understand the how and the why of everything that is going on in the Catholic Church and in the world. I do not have a strong opinion on many social and political issues of the day. I am persuadable. I could foresee my own personal life and the life of the Church going in many, many different directions over the next 10+ years. It is OK to accept ones own limitations of understanding and knowledge; it is OK to wait for events.

What am I certain about? Despite my own multitude of sins, my faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He founded the Catholic Church that will survive until the end of time, that I will be judged after death, and that I am completely dependent on God is what I am absolutely certain about. I know that Jesus Christ cannot lie to us; that He loves us; that He will guide each person who loves Him, and the Church that He created, in the absolute best way possible.

I am a massive sinner. But I have faith. I know that He will command the great tempest to complete calm. Everything else are just details. And in the meantime many people will come to you and claim that they have an answer for everything that has happened and that will happen. Maybe they are right about some things and wrong about others; but that is not the point. In the end the events themselves are just tiny details in the overall wonderful story of God loving us, becoming one of us, dying for us, and saving us.

The bigger picture is that Christ is going to calm the great tempest. And that should calm us no matter what happens in politics, economics, society or the Church.

You do not want to die, in a state of mortal sin, because you panicked at day-to-day happenings in the world. You do not want to hear Jesus say to you: “Why did you leave My Church, after all that I have done for you, Ye of little faith?”