Faith: the only certainty

Very interestingly, I heard that a priest proffered in his homily a scientific explanation for the miracles recorded in the Bible. The first was when a soldier pierced the side of Jesus and water came out. The priest had said that there is a vessel (I cannot remember what biological term he used) beneath the heart which sometimes fills itself with water. And it just so happened that the spear tip punctured that vessel and water spilled out. It was no miracle; only a subtlety of science. The second was of the multiplication of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes. The priest had reasoned that perhaps the people present, having witnessed the kindness of Jesus, took out from their pockets and bags bread loaves and fishes of their own. Again, the miracle is demoted to no more than a fallacy of exclusion.

Obviously, this is dangerous; for it questions the very foundations upon which the Catholic church is built. Those miracles are what give believers hope and by saying all that, one is essentially depriving them of hope. I shall not go further into the multitude of consequences this may spell since my intrigue lies elsewhere from the obvious.

My intrigue lies in the character of the priests whom preached those explanations, whether carelessly or intentionally. If they can believe those scientific explanations, what happens to their belief in miracles? One naturally expects that priests have the utmost faith in the scriptures and take these reason-defying acts as interventions of God. But having brought in those arguments implies only the contrary. This then leads us to wonder if they have trouble believing in anything else, or everything else, that the scriptures have revealed. The Eucharist too perhaps? That would be most irreverent and appalling.

But we cannot fault them in any righteous way, since they too are human; curious and disposed to comprehension. No matter how much faith a person may bear in the truth of the scriptures, there will always linger a certain doubt. For how can we, as the reasonable people we are, believe, wholeheartedly, without the slightest strand of suspicion, in what lies so distantly behind the veil of time? Not to sound blasphemous, but suppose someone from that faraway past had falsely recorded, excited with mischief, some terrorizing of the land by malign monsters. Had that been the case, might we also believe in those monsters as we do now in the scriptures? After all, what miracles are to the reality, monsters are to observable nature. Again, I mean no disrespect at all to the church. I only wish to place reason behind our human suspicion.

This is why there is always a danger in believing the scriptures to be factual accounts rather than drawing from its essence. It must be understood that in faith, factuality is unimportant. What is factual is confined solely to the human realm. But faith, faith is above all. It should matter little whether the accounts of the scriptures were in fact true, for if we have faith in God, all we shall need is the essence of what has been revealed; be they inspired truths or mischievous lies. Everything that has been delivered to us by God will serve the construction of our lives, just as all experience serves the shaping of our characters. Faith seems to be the only certainty in life.

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5 thoughts on “Faith: the only certainty

  1. Nice post. However, believing is, in a sense, irrelevant. Everyone believes (has faith) in something, and that something is usually different than what others believe. For example, I personally believe that life is a journey, rather than a destination; so, if you think you know God, as most religions do, then you will stop searching for him.

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      • Once you have certainty in your belief, your mind becomes closed to new concepts. So, if a person thinks that they have found God then they have no reason to entertain other ideas about him. This is why Socrates said that he knew nothing at all. Obviously, that wasn’t true but he arguably would keep his mind open to new ideas.

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