The Greek and Roman Pantheons are gone, the Norse gods are gone, along with any other god they could make a super hero movie about (looking at both of you, Thor and Loki). The fact that they are super hero characters further illustrates the difference between what God actually is and the totally mistaken belief that the word god denotes a class to which many things belong, like the word animal.
‘…Brunelleschi, Medici and several generations of Florentines eventually saw it built, despite persecution, disbelief in the integrity of the design and enormous practical hurdles. So never stop believing, just keep taking the next step.’
‘Hegel said history would culminate in some sort of secular fashion. Humanity will achieve fulfilment in a purely physical and cosmological sense. I could not get my head around this. ‘How?’ I thought… However, I eventually thought of a somewhat novel idea which could possibly act as a resolution.’
‘The words of this chant are ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum’ (‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, turn back to the Lord your God’). They can be applied to the whole world. God wants us to turn to Him in love and it is never too late.’
‘All your sins can be forgiven by God if you simply go to Confession, or the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as it is properly called. Do not fear Confession… Everyone wants to be forgiven for something, or many things, and this is a tremendous opportunity for God’s ‘lost sheep’ to come back to their loving shepherd.’
‘Do you believe I can do this?’ They said, ‘Sir, we do.’ Then he touched their eyes saying, ‘Your faith deserves it, so let this be done for you.’ And their sight returned.’
A friend of mine used the expression ‘soul destroying’ to describe the murder of innocent people in Paris yesterday evening. It accurately captures the feeling we’ve all shared this last 24 hours. I’m sure we’ve all given voice to this feeling in our own way, too, my own manner being to call it ‘heart rending.’…
‘This basic acknowledgement tells me one thing: I do not KNOW what I am talking about. I do not know what I believe. I do not know if it is true. I do wholeheartedly BELIEVE it, though.’
‘Insofar as you are willing to point out someone’s fault to them, directly to their face with a view to helping them correct it, you can speak critically about them.’ If we are not willing to speak to someone directly and risk a negative reaction, we shouldn’t speak at all, as to do so is cowardly.
At the beginning of my first year in seminary, last October, I had many prayers, but none of them were more important than this one: ‘God, I want to be a saint. And everyone else too.’
It is one of the delicious ironies of Catholicism that something so serious as the very salvation of our souls is brought about in a manner that seems laughable. The question now is: Do you want to laugh along with God forever?
Isn’t it amazing? The fact that we exist and that we exist as ourselves, in a universe which exists, which doesn’t have to exist.