- Tuesday, 19 February 2019 -
Tuesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time
Readings of day

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 8:14-21.

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
He enjoined them, "Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod."
They concluded among themselves that it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them, "Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?" They answered him, "Twelve."
When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up? They answered (him), "Seven."
He said to them, "Do you still not understand?"
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Saint John of the Cross
"Do you not yet understand or comprehend?"

Faith, the theologians say, is a certain and obscure habit of soul. It is an obscure habit because it brings us to believe divinely revealed truths that transcend every natural light and infinitely exceed all human understanding. As a result the excessive light of faith bestowed on a soul is darkness for it; a brighter light will eclipse and suppress a dimmer one. The sun so obscures all other lights that they do not seem to be lights at all when it is shining, and instead of affording vision to the eyes, it overwhelms, blinds, and deprives them of vision since its light is excessive and unproportioned to the visual faculty. Similarly, the light of faith in its abundance suppresses and overwhelms that of the intellect... Another clearer example...: If those born blind were told about the nature of the colors white or yellow, they would understand absolutely nothing no matter how much instruction they received since they never saw these colors... Only the names of these colors would be grasped since the names are perceptible through hearing... Such is faith to the soul; it informs us of matters we have never seen or known... The light of natural knowledge does not show them to us... Yet we come to know it through hearing, by believing what faith teaches in blinding our natural light and bringing it in to submission. St. Paul states: “Faith comes through hearing” (Rm 10:17). This amounts to saying that faith is not a knowledge derived from the senses but an assent of the soul to what enters through hearing... Faith, manifestly, is a dark night for souls, but in this way it gives them light. The more darkness it brings on them, the more light it sheds. For by blinding it illumines them, according to those words of Isaiah: “If you do not believe, you will not understand” (cf. Is 7:9).

The Ascent of Mount Carmel, II, 3 (©Institute of Carmelite Studies)