There is a curious study in an academic journal of psychology.
This arrogance is a form of perpetual adolescence, as it thinks the elders of the past were not very bright. But the very existence of civilizations attests to the fact that we have inherited what we did not invent. In 1676, Isaac Newton wrote: "If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." This is the common sense that is common only to uncommon minds. The theologian John of Salisbury said the same thing in 1159: "We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours."
The gigantic theological minds gave us the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist, and less subtle minds in our time find it hard to accept because they will not stand on their shoulders. Or, nearly as bad, thinkers of modest stature may end up shrinking the magnificent Scholastic teaching on Eucharistic transubstantiation into a cloying caricature, with images of a baby Jesus curled up in the Tabernacle, and invitations to pop into church to say "a quick hello to Jesus." The great Eucharistic doctors never separated the Body and Blood of Christ from the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Saint Catherine of Siena never thought of measuring IQs, and she is a Doctor of the Church even though she was practically illiterate. On the Feast of Corpus Christi we should pray as she did:
O Trinity! Eternal Trinity! O, Fire, abyss of Love!
Father George William Rutler. "Chronological arrogance." From the Pastor (June 2, 2013).
Reprinted with permission of Father George W. Rutler.
Since 1988 his weekly television program has been broadcast worldwide on EWTN. Father Rutler has published 17 books, including: Cloud of Witnesses — Dead People I Knew When They Were Alive, Coincidentally: Unserious Reflections on Trivial Connections, A Crisis of Saints: Essays on People and Principles, Brightest and Best, Saint John Vianney: The Cure D'Ars Today, Crisis in Culture, and Adam Danced: The Cross and the Seven Deadly Sins.
Copyright © 2013 Father George W. Rutler
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