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The Purity and Power of Parables

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Catholic writers, especially those of us who expound on the inner, spiritual life should carefully follow Christ’s example. Jesus used simple stories and parables to explain spiritual truths. It was the only way He could come close to explaining the inexplicable. Although He could discuss complex theological issues with deep insight into scripture from the age of twelve, He preferred to teach using parables and metaphors that even a child or uneducated man could understand. Metaphors, or word pictures, are the language of God in the Old Testament, the language of Jesus in the Gospels and the Holy Spirit in the Epistles because images bypass the sceptical reasoning of our human minds and pierce our hearts. The danger of complicated, wordy theological explanations is illustrated humourously in a short, religious joke. I rarely remember even the simplest joke but I have never forgotten this intellectual one told 30 years ago by a Jesuit priest in front of a University New Testament class.�…