Ok, so today we are going global.
Not global in a secular or economic, or political or even in an international sense, but “global,” in the sense of thinking about a universe, a universe or cosmos and not a chaos of a universe.
And one, that we may call “what is,” existing, outside of ourselves (what else, but the universe?), even though we are of it, and we know this to be so because we have the “mind,” to see and appreciate it. And to be able to truly conclude that if it ( this world) exists, what then can it inform me about myself and my own existence? The existence of this world of which I am part? (If you think that’s a mouthful, you are right)
Folks all over the world, down through the ages have always had this thought in mind, especially in important moments in life, as in life events or in prayer.
The prayer folks shown above prays after mass daily in a Westerville church in the way and manner their faith and their intelligence allows them.
As some sort of a preamble and in the interest of full disclosure, we may enter into the minds of them, my prayer friends, allowing ourselves some kind of a given:
” The most difficult thing men are asked to believe is not that God exists, but that somehow God was present in this world, even present in it as a man, in a definite time and place.
This relatively brief presence of the Word in time was, because of who He was, sufficient to reorder all of mankind toward what is, in the instance of each person who ever actually existed, eternal life.
The promise of this eternal life explains why the world, as we know it, exists. Each of us who has made our home within the world finds, sooner or later, that the home to which we are finally directed transcends the world. In essence, this understanding is how Catholicism and intelligence relate to each other.”
Page xxiv, Catholicism and Intelligence by James V. Schall,SJ. Emmaus Road Publications, 2017.
Without them saying it, the above quote by Fr, Schall expresses succinctly their Catholic Christian faith or unstated point of view.
Obviously they are inside a church, a beautiful Catholic Ohio church, which they consider their “spiritual home,” with Jesus, Mary and the saints in mural above the altar, and they pray prayers like
” St. Michael, the archangel, defend us on this day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”
And. ” Come Holy Spirit, come by the means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving, be every moment, Thine.”
And, “We pray for our Pope, for all priests, bishops and for all the faithful, for our personal intentions, and for the consecration of ourselves and the whole world, to the Sacred heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
And finally, ” Eternal Father, we offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”
We start our prayers after the 8:30 AM mass, and by the time we are done it would be almost 10:00 AM.
But no matter. We have just prayed for the world (the universe) and you can say we are a happy bunch, though you would not not know it looking at our old faces.
And we just cannot articulate those prayers unless we have the faith and we believe.
When I was about 18 years or so at the old Ateneo de Cagayan in Cagayan de Oro City, our theology class professor was substituted by Fr. James McMahon, SJ, school rector, who begun the session by asking us, “Do believe in the statement, that “seeing is believing?”
After much back and forth, we all left that Ateneo de Cagayan class convinced that it is only when one cannot “see fully,” even the most vital of things in our existence, such as the “after-life,” that then is time when one must rely on eyes not of science or reason ( as “Positivism” would have it,) but on the eyes of faith.
You can say that we pray because we believe that ” the promise of this eternal life, explains why the world, as we know it, exists.” And that “each of us who has made our home within the world finds, sooner or later, that the home to which we are finally directed, transcends the world.”
You can also say that in our own way, not in an inconsequential way but in a most, utmost, ultimate manner, chosen to love and to be friends with and to pray to this God whom we cannot see.
Why? Because we believe that no one can be a friend of God unless one chooses to do so, and that we choose to do so because we are able to see and appreciate a world and a universe that did not create itself. Just as we cannot create ourselves, so too, the universe cannot create itself.
“Nothing can come from nothing.” In math, zero x zero is not infinity, but zero.
So this is a universe that does not exist for itself but for us. In short, it was given to us. we, who have the ability to know it, and to name it. And if it was not created for itself, then it must have have been created for us.
And because we are grateful, then we pray to the Giver. And live our lives accordingly.
“The account of how we lived is the drama of each actual life. No one can, in the end, be a friend of God if he does not choose to be so. God had already chosen to love him. That is why each person exists in the first place.
This choosing (or choice) is the condition of friendship of all sorts, including that with God.” Page 15, Schall, “Catholicism and Intelligence.”
If some were to call God “stupid,” we should pray for him or them . “For each human life, from conception to natural death, has, as the end offered to it, “eternal life.” If we reject this gift (abortion, EJK, etc), as we can, (then) we are left to ourselves. We will realize that what we missed was the result of our own, not God’s choice. We call this “missing,” hell, and it has other consequences.” Schall. P 15.