Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An Inconvenient Faith

Atheists often accuse Christians of embracing their faith as a sort of wishful thinking to give psychological comfort in a cold cruel world. John Zmirak responds to one such challenge, describing the inconveniences of faith. I have had similar debates with a relative (on the Irish side) who claims that religious belief is merely a comfort for those who are afraid to face the void. No. Faith is not comfortable, although it has its moments. I do not believe what I believe because it is a comfort. I believe what I believe because of the overwhelming reality of revealed truth. To deny what has been revealed by God through the Church would be foolish and insane for me. To accept it only because it feels good would not be faith but sentimental drivel. To take up the cross means enduring contradictions. It is a lifelong struggle. Yes, there is love, but it is often unfelt. Yes, there is joy, and overall peace, but joy and peace are often hidden guests. Yes, there is hope of heaven, but sometimes heaven seems far away, even when one stands at the threshold. Faith is challenging, for it demands accountability. To believe in Christ requires all of oneself. To believe is to say with Saint Peter, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. But I believe and am convinced that you are the Christ, the Son of God." Share


Terry Nelson said...

Wow - we are thinking on the same lines today - I was hinting at this in the post I did for St. Pio.

Anonymous said...

It is the "long loneliness"----Dorothy Day.

The Crescat said...

Funny, I always thought athiests beleived the way they do because it was morally comfortable for them.

When I think Catholicism, peace and comfort do not come to mind... more like fully formed conscience, penance, bearing your burdens, oh yeah and that big one... persecution.

belinda said...

Yes,it is a life long struggle, and sometimes the cross is so heavy. It's all of these things that you have described ,but sometimes for a respite, it's tender, wonderful, consoling, and so very comforting .It's beyond any words can express ,and far sweeter than I deserve. Atheists can not understand the goodness or the pain.

Brantigny said...

Elena-Maria, it is not that Athiests don't believe in God. Atheists know what God means, it is just that they choose not to accept truth.

You reletive should take Pascal's wager.

If I wager for and God is -- infinite gain;

If I wager for and God is not -- no loss.

If I wager against and God is -- infinite loss;

If I wager against and God is not -- neither loss nor gain.

de Brantigny

Alexandra said...

Happily there is not void. God is in every particle of the world, universe and beyond. A void is a made-up thing by non-believers. Prayers for your relative. May he open his heart and accept the truth. A green scapular secreted into his home never hurt either. ;)

What "void" believers don't understand is a lot.

My faith does give me much comfort. In good times we enjoy our faith, in bad times we exercise it. Obedience, structure and accountability are all parts of life; Catholicism give me comfort. Of course, as a cradle Catholic the faith is drilled into you as a child, and it becomes a part of who your are - it's as natural as breathing.

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks to you all for your beautiful thoughts.

belinda said...

Alexandra, please consider yourself blessed beyond measure, that you have had that beautiful Catholic background. I am jealous ,because of all that I have missed. My later start is better than no start at all though.