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Expecting Fruits from the Wrong Trees

I spend most of my time listening to Catholics complain about studying, as if I’m the one who decided that studies are necessary for their lives or what should be studied by Christian people. It often seems that most students are looking for excuses to quit, and that many parents are working hard to help them do so. So many healthy students, so many wealthy parents, so much opportunity–so little fruit.

I’d be lying if I said I don’t get tired of it at times.

Then, this note comes in:

“Our son was born with Down Syndrome. I can’t count the number of times we ran across people who saw him and had very low expectations of him. However, your structured home-schooling program enabled him to excel and prove those people wrong by teaching him to read Latin, study Scripture, and pray the LOTH. He loved your courses on Geography, Reason, Chronology, Algebra, and Religion.”

I am not an emotional person, but this one choked me up.

It led me to think of St. Paul’s writing on the character of the Christian people in his first letter to the Corinthians:

“Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God.”

1 Corinthians 1:26-29

Perhaps we’re often looking for fruit from the wrong trees. As the Jews judged Saul in the Old Testament to be a promising leader because he was tall and handsome, we look too often to the physically or materially impressive people around us to be the great Catholics.

Christianity has never worked that way.

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