Tuesday of Week 23 in Ordinary Time
“Make sure that no one traps you and deprives you of your freedom by some second-hand, empty, rational philosophy based on the principles of this world instead of on Christ.”
Some time ago, I was watching a Youtube video about how it was irrational to believe in the existence of God. It was a talk by a man named Christopher Hitchens. He was an atheist (someone who does not believe in God); a prolific writer and thinker. In his books and speeches, Hitchens advocated for a rational belief in logic, and what this logic told him was that God does not, and cannot exist.
The first reading of today warns us to be careful of such dangerous thinking, and to not be deprived of our freedom by some empty, rational philosophy based on worldly principles, instead of our faith in Jesus.
Ironically though, despite many views condemning religion as being ‘archaic’ and ‘illogical’, logic does demand a belief that God exists. My son was recently telling me about “Pascal’s Wager”, which postulates that it is not logical for us to believe in the absence of God. The premise of the argument is this — it makes sense for all of us to believe that there is a God (and of course, live our lives as such). Simply put, the cost of us not believing in God is too high if He does exist, as the cost of this disbelief will affect us for all eternity. With this argument, Pascal’s Wager shows us that everyone should believe in God.
However, we cannot be living our lives purely through logic. Rather, we also experience our lives through our emotions and our experiences, through our interactions with others, and our learning. As a child who lost his parents through divorce and two remarriages, I have experienced God in my life despite the fact that there was no one to lead me down either paths of belief or non-belief. I cannot explain why some life events turn out the way they do, and why some people enter, or leave, my life. I certainly cannot fathom how someone who was not supposed to ‘turn out well’ without parental support, ultimately had people who showed up to teach me lessons I needed to learn, and how failures and successes taught me things I could not have otherwise learned.
All these experiences in my life, in addition to logic, have shown me that God cannot, but exist.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)
Prayer: Help us Father, to always be aware of Your existence. Help us to be able to hear, and to experience You, so we may be reminded that You are within, and around, us.
Thanksgiving: We are grateful, Father, for helping us experience You fully, in logic, emotion and experience.