top of page

An Open Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

This past weekend myself and some good friends got together and fixed up a chicken coop. The Catholic men around my town do things like that from time to time. It's a fallen world and our fellow travelers help us keep our courage.

The conversation is always interesting and always ranges in topics. With a retired fire chief, a professional engineer, and a beekeeper among the ranks we can typically get to "dialoguing" easily. This past weekend was no exception.

Our resident elderly person, who has a great sense of humor I might add, was very adamant at one point when we were discussing open minds. From his point of view, and what most think about the subject, is that an open mind is similar to being wish-washy and easily lead astray. They contend perhaps that an open mind leads to those tickling ears St. Paul teaches us about.

I contended otherwise.

In my case, from personal experience, an open mind saved me from the dregs of slavery. You see up to my reversion I had lived a life of somewhat ill repute. I had no definitive moral compass or code. I hardly had allegiances. I was like the walking dead in some respects. But, God called. Perhaps it was my last chance. When you tend to continually deny Him entry He doesn't seem to hang about begging for you to change your mind.

It just so happened, in His time I found my way back to the truth. By the Grace of God I became a supernatural Catholic again. Even better, my open mind not only led me back to Mass, but it sent me a on a journey of discerning truth and God's mysteries that continues to this very moment.

A truly open mind should end in conversion, which the Church contends is not a one time affair but continual.

If I had walled off my mind and insisted what was already in there was enough I would have missed every light and grace sent my way. At the moment, in my current state I miss enough of them. I can't imagine my shape if I had missed them all.

Alas, my contention was to no avail.

Did I mention that he was a stubborn elderly person who has a great sense of humor?

159 views3 comments

Recent Posts

See All

The prophetic advice of the Florida Martyrs.

Ave María! In the peace of His Majesty, our Lord Jesus. May our lady of the most holy Rosary, together with all the saints and martyrs, pray for us. On this day, May 13, in 1917, over 107 years ago, O


Certainly good points. Modern man's conception of open vs closed is muddled. Co-opted by years of revolutionary misuse our language seems to mean something different now. For the sake of discussion I want to put forward the biblical understanding of an open mind.

"As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and…


Casey, this is an interesting and very necessary conversation to have. I hate to say it, but I think the stubborn old guy has a point. An open mind is good insofar as it helps us to find the truth, but too often today, the so-called "open mind" is used as way to cower from the truth and to avoid ever settling on any kind of conviction at all.

It reminds me of a really good essay I recently came across on the virtue of docility:

Replying to

“An open mind is all very well in its way, but it ought not to be so open that there is no keeping anything in or out of it. It should be capable of shutting its doors sometimes, or it may be found a little drafty.”

bottom of page