Sunday, July 31, 2011
I have reflected on faith before, specifically in its relation to reason. I would like to go further into what it means to have faith in someone and specifically God.
Do we have faith in anyone? It seems to many people an impossible task. Who is there to trust? So many of our families are broken by abuse, divorce, etc. Our politicians seem to be self-serving men and women. Even our priests and bishops are often unworthy, as it were, of our trust. Why then should we put our faith in them? Why should we follow them?
No human being is completely trustworthy. I have told lies before. I am not perfect in that regard as I am not perfect in almost every regard. I would say that most people have at least bent the truth before. It's very easy. No consequences. The only person who has never lied is God. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. If he is truth, how can he tell a lie? That's like saying that we as humans can somehow leave our soul behind at certain times. Well, we can't, and Christ could not lie.
To have faith is to stand on the assertion that someone is trustworthy and will fulfill his promises. It is not blind. It is an act of the will. You can either choose to stand with Christ or against him. What many call "blind faith" is often merely someone having a very personal reason for understanding that Christ is on his side. Not everyone can articulate every truth. Not everyone is as advanced in the ways of philosophy to do that. If I were to assert that (-3)(-3)=(3)(3) because that is what I was taught without understanding it, would that make it untrue? And so it is with those of us who have faith. We may not have the arguments for it, but we have been taught and we have chosen to trust what our teachers and ultimately Christ tells us. And we stand with him. And that is faith.
For a better understanding of faith, read "Introduction to Christianity" by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger who is now someone important in the Church.
Posted by Nate at 9:48 AM
Saturday, July 23, 2011
One of my senior projects in high school was producing and starring in a production called "Midnight Dancers." It was based on a book by Catholic author Regina Doman. The book is a retelling of the story "The Twelve Dancing Princesses".
In the play, the main character, Rachel Durham, who was brought up in a strict fundamentalist christian household, discovers that goodness is "more than morality" through the actions of Paul Fester, a Catholic who is also a part time juggler/ninja. Paul plays a pivotal "salvific" role in the play/book and in one of the last scenes, Rachel tells a sleeping Paul the following, which translates nicely into a prayer:
"I think I know what you meant, Paul about goodness, but you left something out. It’s not always pretty to look at goodness, especially when it comes into contact with evil. Like me, I saw what it did to you, what it cost you to come down and get mixed up in my own brand of evil. Thank you for not standing apart in your goodness. Thank you for coming. Because you did, I think I know what goodness looks like, and you’re right. It’s beautiful. Forgive me."It is, of course to realize that Christ came down for a reason, and that reason was to bring us out of our "own brand of evil". We all have one, and none of it is pretty. Christ took our ugliness to purify it. And that is where our hope lies.
Posted by Nate at 5:26 PM