The Spirit of truth will guide you to all truth, says the Lord. (John 16:13)
Truth elicits trust. When someone’s account of something, or someone’s message, or someone’s testimony proves itself to be true, then we trust. Our minds open up. Here is someone I can believe. Here I can learn.
We can all think back, I hope, on the teachers we truly respected and liked. They understood and loved what they taught. They had thoroughly investigated their subject matter. We could listen and learn with confidence.
The Lord calls us all to become good teachers like that. Good teachers of the Gospel of Christ. Good teachers of the hope that is in us. Good teachers of prayer, of morals, of life.
But, of course: No one can become a teacher without first learning. And we learn when we trust.
So: Who or what do we trust? As we concluded two weeks ago, we trust the Church—that is, us. Our family. Headed by Papa Francesco in Roma.
But, like we also said, that’s just the beginning. Being a big family gets us together. But why do we frequent church? To grow fat and lazy and selfish and stupider with each passing week? No. We go to church to mature into the fullness of Christianity, to become apostles of Christ, apostles who know how to bear fruit for Him.
We are a family that learns, so that we can teach. To learn, we must first trust. So, if you don’t mind, I’m going to try to lay out the full recipe for: Trust for the New Evangelization, over the next few weeks.
Okay. Number One. Is there a God, or isn’t there? I mean, there either is one, or there isn’t. You can’t be half-pregnant, and God can’t sort of exist.
Either: God, the awesome and almighty, terrifying in His power, stunning in His brilliance, ineffable in His beauty, deeper than the foundations of the universe; altogether everywhere, and greater than anything our little minds can conceive, the Ruler and King—the one necessary reason for everything—either He made us and holds us in His hands. Or not. Right?
I mean, it’s not as though we can try to make our own personal tweaks to the attributes we want God to have. “Well, I want to believe in a nicer God than the one who allows tornadoes to occur.” Okay. But then: Who exactly is it who does allow tornadoes to occur? As we know, tornadoes do in fact occur. So if you’re talking about Mr. Nice God, who doesn’t allow tornadoes to occur, then you are not actually talking about God.
Or: “I want to believe in a more feminine, motherly kind of God–who doesn’t really care about rules, and right and wrong, and justice and punishment, and just wants me to be me!” Okay. But then who does make rules? Like rules to protect the innocent and restrain the guilty? Who does separate truth from lies and shine light into darkness?
If you’re talking about Ms. Look-the-other-way Kissy-kissy-love-love God; if you’re not talking about the all-knowing One, Who executes perfect justice and hates everything evil with a perfect hate, then you’re not actually talking about God at all.
Either God is—and not a teddy-bear caricature or a pagan-chimera version, but the God Who changed absolute nothing into the something that is—the God Whose judgment can and must terrify every sane human being, like an osprey terrifies a flounder…Either He is, or not.
So: Does He exist?
One of the great myths of the 20th century ran like this: All the smart, open-minded, curious people have figured out that there is no God.
One of the great myths of the 21st century runs like this: It’s impossible to know whether or not there is a God, so really the whole business is an absolutely private, personal matter, having to do with your deepest feelings.
On the other hand, there actually are some people kicking around who say, “Look, there definitely is a God.’ Like everyone who has ever paused for ten minutes to give the question some honest attention.
“Okay. Let’s see. My mother bore me. And her mother bore her. And my great-grandmother bore my grandmother. And my great-grandmother’s mother bore her. And… Can I go on to infinity with this? No.”
Or: “Gosh. Look at the sun setting in the west. Sure is beautiful. Let’s see…Does it make more sense to think that an immeasurable series of random chemical reactions—started by nobody and guided by nobody—produced this? Not to mention Niagara Falls, Shakespeare, and Beyonce? Or does it make more sense to credit these beauties to the hand of Almighty God?”
Who says God exists? Some smarties: St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr… Not to mention 99.99% of all the other people who have ever lived. He exists. New-Evangelization Recipe, ingredient #1: Almighty God certainly exists.
2 thoughts on “God Exists”
Okay: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” The Teacher is already here; He’s all around us, and in us. If we’re oblivious to his presence, it’s because we’re so self-absorbed that we cannot get out of “us” long enough to realize his presence. It’s hard to have hope for those who are so afflicted.
But, we do have hope; and we do persist in being there for those afflicted — no matter how imperfectly. To not do would be to deny Him.
Much of this phenomenon of disbelief is inculcated in, “How difficult it is for a rich man to attain the kingdom of Heaven.” Simply put, we’re just living too good for our own good.
In God we trust.
Amen, Father Mark!!!