Wednesday, August 13, 2014

An Article About "Everything"

Only the fool says in his heart, "God does not exist."

A psalm that has accurately described some people for millennia, rich, poor, smart, famous, not so successful. And then there is me. Yes, this was the case with me, the person you are reading right now.

When I finally found God years ago, I could've said, "case closed" with a sigh of relief or peace, and so I did. But I often go back to revisit myself, those arrogant high school years, or sometimes even farther back to witness that moment, the moment when everything started.

So if we stroll down the continuum more than 17 years, you will find a confused boy, who could not explain to someone how he knew God existed, because I just believed in God without questioning. And because I couldn't answer this I became an atheist. This question became for me the fundamental question, i.e. the question about everything, the question to end all questions: whether God exists. At that time I said good bye to all the stuff I couldn't understand. How can you believe something you don't understand and know to be true?

In time, I became more than an atheist: a communist who embraced the ideal of social revolution, a nihilist who hated everything and everyone. Eons later, as I was riding a terrible bus to college on a cold day, logic exhorted me and pushed me to leave the Marxist dogma: the fact is that the reds had always turned on their own people. It was unacceptable (we all have some degree of logic inside). Which led me into capitalism and an adherence to the Republican Party, to envision a different kind of revolution. But all ideologies are, in the end, silly.

Well, I don't know how and I don't know why (ever heard that one before?), and I don't know when, but I became a very positive person, some kind of "positive atheist." Some guy offering a sales job pretty much sold me a different way to see reality, a positive way to see people, and the idea of believing in oneself. It was a double-edged sword; if you believe you could build things with your attitude, then soon you will also believe you could destroy things with your attitude, and I started believing that I had destroyed things with my attitude and my actions. It was true, and I believe it to be true today. (This was a part of that philosophy that was true. You have to understand that truth comes to us in parts and mixed with falsities. It is our job, because we are gifted with a mind, to separate the light from the dark.)

And thanks to this grace of God, I observed that the absence of religion was just bad for people. The people I observed were those close to me, my cousins for example (if you must know). Funny how I thought it was bad for everyone but me, and this was before I realized that it was far more destructive than I imagined. So I decided to encourage religion without believing. Yup, that was me, going to a Sunday morning mass I didn't even believe in. The truth is I felt guilty for all those years of bad example, evil advice, and just hurting people's feelings. Could the world have been much better had I not done any of that stuff? As a student of science, who believes in cause and effect, I always say yes. I am partly to blame for this world we have today. I'm sorry.

One day, a book made it into my hands, "50 Questions of the Natural Law," where the author, in a part of the book, paraphrased St. Thomas Aquinas' proofs of the existence of God. This was what I wanted all my life. I got on the phone with my now-ex-girlfriend, "Did you know God exists?" And she replied, "What, you didn't know that?" It was the best news ever! I felt like someone who was going to die, and then was told, "you're not going to die anymore?"

But the fact is, that even as an atheist, I differed so fundamentally from other atheists, which is why I cannot understand them ever. Back then I was a moralist, against abortion rights, homosexuality, and one which saw liberalism as a far greater enemy than religion. I had no problem believing in the obedience of moral laws. And, of course, as a catholic, I remain a moralist, but less tough on people: HATE THE SIN, LOVE THE SINNER. That was one of the first things I learned as a convert.

Anyways, so I started believing that God does indeed exist. And three conclusions were drawn from this: 1) that I should stop asking for proofs, since it made sense to have faith now that God exists. There is a more precise definition, but "faith" is simply "to trust God." Because of this conclusion I became Catholic without so much question. I decided to believe everything the first, and therefore only existing, Church taught. In fact, I suspected that it may even be offensive not to have faith, just as human people get offended when they are not trusted (ask any girlfriend, boyfriend, or just regular friend, whether they like to constantly have to prove that they're telling the truth). 2) I did not have to fear death anymore; I was free; because God can do anything, even resurrect the dead. And 3) that God, by logic alone, must be the most awesome thing in the world, worthy of being sought above all else, "Deus benedictus in saecula," as the Angelic Doctor said (God who is blessed forever).

Or maybe I should try: "The truth is out there!!!"