[quote=doubting thomas]Excellent Response!
I don’t exactly buy it, but VERY well done, a much more real approach than I have heard yet.
If I believed that God could expect such a huge task of imperfect humans I would still be Catholic.
Christians recognize this deficency and rely on the Holy Spirit for truth despite humans.
The question is then, why would he pick particular humans to inspire in certain ways to be influenced to create a belief system
and not others? I don’t believe that God chose the Jews as his favorites, it makes no sense to me.
Human interaction is vital, and the connection is obvious, however the logic leads to competition, war and factions as well as teaching truth.
Thanks for posting!
I’m glad I could help.
I don’t think anyone is entirely sure why God chooses some particular people to inspire in certain ways rather than choosing others. Obviously, part of it is in a person’s response: there are many people who could have been great servants of God if they had responded to God’s grace with a “yes” but instead chose to reject God’s grace. Even then, it does seem like some people receive special graces that others don’t get, such as the grace to be a prophet, an Apostle, or a bishop or Pope in charge of defending and bringing people to a deeper understanding of truth. We have to theorize based on what we know about God: that He is all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful.
St. Therese of Lisieux wondered why some saints seemed to have so much special grace from God while so many other people seem to have received less than that. She found her answer in looking at flowers:
He has created the great saints who are like the lilies and the roses, but He has also created much lesser saints and they must be content to be the daisies or the violets which rejoice His eyes whenever He glances down…God’s love shows itself just as well in the simplest soul which puts up no resistance to His grace as it does in the loftiest soul. Indeed, as it is love’s nature to humble itself, if all souls were like those of the holy doctors who have illumined the Church with the light of their doctrine, it seems that God would not have stooped low enough by entering their hearts. But God has created the baby who knows nothing…He has created the poor savage with no guide but natural law, and it is to their hearts that He deigns to stoop. They are His wild flowers whose homeliness delights Him. By stooping down to them, He manifests His infinite grandeur. The sun shines equally both on cedars and on every tiny flower. In just the same way God looks after every soul as if it had no equal. All is planned for the good of every soul, exactly as the seasons are so arranged that the humblest daisy blossoms at the appointed time.
So God chooses to inspire certain souls instead of others because He has other gifts for the ‘simple’ souls that are not inspired in the same way.
As far as the Jews being God’s favorites, there are other people who know more about this than I do and could probably give you a better answer, but here’s my take on it. As Catholics, we acknowledge a tremendous debt to the Jewish people through whom God chose to reveal Himself. At the same time, we see that all cultures have some elements that prepare them for the truths of Catholicism, so it’s not like we think God only cared about the Jews. Even Isaiah, a Jewish prophet, spoke of how God used Cyrus, a Persian ruler, to teach Israel a lesson (Isaiah 45:1-17). The Jewish people were entrusted with certain revelations that no other people had, but they also had greater responsibility. The prophets often speak more harshly of Israel’s immorality than they do of other nations’ practices because Israel should know better. Jesus himself said that the towns of Israel that rejected Him would have more to answer for than Sodom and Gomorrah because they had more reason than Sodom and Gomorrah to repent and recognize Who Jesus was. “To whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48).
Why did God choose Israel? Like I said, other people know far more about this than I do, but I think part of it is that they were a people who started from almost nothing, and God often chooses the lowly in the world to demonstrate His power. Another part of it is that if God wanted us to know Him, someone had to have the truth about Him, and there was no reason not to choose Israel. I hope that I’ve at least shown that it wasn’t like Israel got special favors without also obtaining special responsibilities.
I agree that often human interaction is subject to competition, war, and factions. Even the family, the place where our natural impulses should move us to work together, is subject to disagreements and arguments, and sometimes even worse. To me, that seems to be a natural result of original sin.