We don't know


#1

We are asked to despise the world for the Kingdom.

We come here, in these forums and profess our faith. But we don’t know. We are asked to believe - but we don’t know. In doing so we give up the world.

We have all these canned explanations for those things that defy logic. We do we suffer? “Because of orinal sin”. Why are some miraculously healed while others are left to suffer in pain and die? “It’s a mystery”. “It’s a mystery” is our answer to everything we can’t answer and doesn’t make sense, everything that defies logic.

It’s so easy to say these things when life is going well. But when faced with the reality that life can be absolutlely miserable they become difficult to swallow

There is a catagory in these forums “Apologetics”. We dicuss how to properly evangalize. What we are saying is that we are right and others are wrong. Where is the objective logic here? It is purley subjective. Of course we believe we are right. So do atheists, so do protestants so do Muslims. But we are really really right!! Isn’t it arrogance to say we know for certain and all these others are dreadfully and possible eternally wrong? Not to mentions statisticaly invalid and logally absurd? We don’t know.

.

We are asked to give up this life for the next. However the next has only been revealed in a manner of which can be quite easily argued against. One billion Muslims, the division amongst Christians, countless atheists and agnostics, people who want thier cake and eat it too. The 95% of Christians who claim they love Jesus but don’t give Him or His word a second thought. We come to these forums and contimplate whether masturbation or missing Mass is a mortal sin when 95%-99% of Catholics and Christians rarely go to Mass or services and do the other as often as brushing thier teeth. Like Pilate said, “What is Truth”?

When life absolutely stinks, the holes in this logic become more defined, they become deeper and more hopeless.

I am 48 years old. If life is as dreadfully unfair as it seems to be I may have as much as 30-40 years left. If our Lord is the Merciful Lord we all claim Him to be. He’ll take me now.

Somehow I doubt it.


#2

those who perservere to the end will inherit the kingdom…so whats the choice…don’t believe, and die but hope in re-incarnation but risk the chance of going to hell…or believe, follow the church’s guidance and teachings, and have a chance at eternal life…doesn’t seem like much of a choice to me.


#3

[quote=Catholic Tom]those who perservere to the end will inherit the kingdom…so whats the choice…don’t believe, and die but hope in re-incarnation but risk the chance of going to hell…or believe, follow the church’s guidance and teachings, and have a chance at eternal life…doesn’t seem like much of a choice to me.
[/quote]

“doesn’t seem like much of a choice to me.”

Exactly! You made my point.


#4

Of course we don’t know. If we knew then we wouldn’t have faith. We wouldn’t have a reason to better ourselves or be kind to one another. Life would be a great big free for all. No one would look out for others. The better you than me attitude would previal when disaster strikes.

In other words life would suck.

Yeah I agree that the “I believe just in case.” idea sounds unbelievably cynical, but hey you got to start somewhere.


#5

Thus far nobody seems to be getting the point. I must not have made myself clear.

I’ll attempt to be a bit more specific. Our faith has certain dogma. Adherence to this dogma can be the chains that bind us from any chance of potential happiness in this life. Leaving the only solice looking ahead to the end of the life, which may be many decades away.

In times or circumstances like these, the individual finds himself in the position of even a greater, more powerful sense of urgency that the Faith he subscribes to is Truth. Which results in him looking at his faith with even a more critical eye. Questioning all he professes to believe. He realizes, in putting all his eggs in this basket he is sacrificing any hope for happiness in this life.

This fact alone is a point in disfavor to his choice, his faith.


#6

Mijoy2,

You are asking deeply philosophical questions that take quite a bit of time to answer. I would suggest a couple of books that go far in addressing your concerns. The first one would be Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tacelli’s book, The Handbook of Christian Apologetics. This is a pretty “heady” book and will take some time to get through. You can, however, read it topically which can make it easier to address your specific concerns. If you don’t want to read a book like this, you can download some of Kreeft’s talks off of the internet at peterkreeft.com. You won’t get the in depth analysis found in his book but there is still some meat to chew on. Another book that I recommend is *Theology and Sanity * by Frank Sheed.

While life is often difficult, it is also relatively short. Jesus tells us that the path to eternal life is narrow and difficult[Matt 7:14]. We have to take life as it is. Truth is a description of the facts. We make an intellectual choice and a choice of the will when we accept,by grace, our faith in Jesus Christ. Do other faiths have truth? Yes, but they do not have the fullness of truth. Jesus is the truth, the way, and the light. If we believe Jesus we have the truth. We believe Jesus by the grace and the gift of faith. We also live out our faith by grace. We depend on God’s grace. We accomplish nothing on our own. Pray for grace and strength to run the race with patient endurance.


#7

Mijoy2, you sound depressed. Are you?
It is very true that sometimes, heck a lot of time, life stinks. My entire family is so screwed up, that if I allowed myself to dwell on all of them, I would be a mess myself. And the entire world is a mess too!! Those “canned” answers; “it’s a mystery”, etc., give me my faith because I cannot solve anyone elses’s problems and often, not even my own. “It’s a mystery” is a lifeline for believers because we cannot know the mind of God and and must rely on faith to know that He will solve all problems and mysterys in His time and in His way. What is “happiness in this life” compared to eternity? When life gets me down (which is often!) I look to eternity with a renewed commitment to bearing up now, running this race now, and, yes, putting all my eggs in the basket of The Holy Mother Church.
What is 80 or 90 years on this earth compared to eternity?
If you are depressed, please read the Book of Job. Now, THAT guy had a lousy earthly time of it! It kind of gives a perspective for us all.
I hope I’ve addressed your post correctly.
:blessyou:


#8

I am 48 years old. If life is as dreadfully unfair as it seems to be I may have as much as 30-40 years left. If our Lord is the Merciful Lord we all claim Him to be. He’ll take me now.

I can’t view this as a death wish in the slightest. There is nothing wrong with wanting to go home to God.

I believe Paul stated similar sentiment in scripture. It sounds like the voice of experience to me. I salute you.

Besides… these feelings don’t usually last forever.

-D


#9

God will take you home when you are done with the mission he has planned for you.

Get on with your mission … contemplate the mysteries of faith, uphold the truth, love each other.


#10

God will take you home when you are done with the mission he has planned for you.

Get on with your mission … contemplate the mysteries of faith, uphold the truth, love each other. Not your will be done, but His.


#11

[quote=Mijoy2]… Of course we believe we are right. So do atheists, so do protestants so do Muslims. But we are really really right!! Isn’t it arrogance to say we know for certain and all these others are dreadfully and possible eternally wrong?..
[/quote]

That arrogance you mentioned - I had thought about that a lot. It would be arrogance if it were my own, personal religion in which I made up all the dogma. But in the Catholic Church, were not just putting our trust in one person (ourselves), but in many centuries of teachers and leaders. That is submission, not arrogance.


#12

[quote=Mijoy2]I’ll attempt to be a bit more specific. Our faith has certain dogma. Adherence to this dogma can be the chains that bind us from any chance of potential happiness in this life. Leaving the only solice looking ahead to the end of the life, which may be many decades away.
[/quote]

Mijoy,
We have a real basic difference in philosophy, here. I have ten years on you and am a revert to the Church.
When you write, “Adherence to this dogma can be the chains that bind us from any chance of potential happiness in this life,” I cringe. I don’t, of course, have any idea of your situation or circumstnaces, but it doesn’t matter. Adherence to Catholic dogma is true freedom! We are free to experience the fullness of Christ in the Sacraments and God in Christ. We are free to trurn our lives over to Christ and do his will. This is true freedom and happiness.
The opposite of this dogma is not freedom but licentiousness.
I think it was Jim Burnham who gave the following example: a child can bang away on a piano in complete “freedom,” not following any musical rules or guidelines. The result is unpleasant noise. (I know. I’ve got 5 grandkids and a piano).
Or we can go through the hours, days, months and years of practice, scales (agonizingly boring if you’ve ever done it). The result is the freedom to understand and play beautiful music.
The point is, if you give yourself to Christ, he returns true freedom to you; freedom to be who and what you are destined to be in him in this life. You don’t have to wait until death.
That doesn’t mean you’ll always be extatically happy. Sometimes he exacts a price, but it’s always, always for our own good, whether we realize it or not.
I cannot look at the criucified Christ and not believe this with every fiber of my being.
I hope this makes some sense to you, and I hope it helps


#13

The indivivduals who answered this thread are caring people and a tribute to the faith they believe in. Thank you.

Pax, I will look into Kreeft’s band Sheed’s books. I enjoy “heady” books, they makes my commute on the train go quicker. Thanks

–Mike


#14

Dear Mijoy2,

From your posts, I detect two things of note. One is that you are questioning our premise that absolute truth is the one we carry on, and the second thing is that you might be very depressed about life and its unfairness.

To both I have many things to say, so much that it’s hard to know where to start. Especially because my own stubbornness to believe either in the infallibility of the church or the necessity therefore in order for her to be the true church are likely to be controversial.

On the first issue, you might consider reading “My Search for Absolutes” but the (non-Catholic) theologian Paul Tillich. It gives a very satisfying, if slightly difficult to read, treatment of the issue of absolutes and relativism that is quite different than what I would have gathered on this forum.

To the second issue, I grew up trying (for the most part) to do good for the sake of being good. I tried to do what’s right. I actually tried to embrace “mission statements” that business and religious bureaucracy came up with, only to find that the reward system ran completely counter to the stated ideals. This took me for quite a spin, including psychiatric phenomena, hyperreligious experiences, dark night, and all kinds of things that I am finally started to get a grip on after three years of study and prayer.

The world is crazy, and that does not exclude the worldly implementation of God’s church. I believe much of the criticism that Christ had for the Pharisees and scribes (such as the seven woes) still apply today in many if not most parishes, to those religious and lay people who are in power. Many of these leaders think that everything that is wrong with the Church is because the sheep are bad (excluding themselves of course), rather than realizing that feeding and healing the sheep are its purpose here on earth. It’s rather pathetic at times. It’s sinners judging other sinners, based on externally observable criteria, as to who is really Catholic “enough” and who is not. Cliques abound. The unity problem is not with Protestants, it is with Catholic-against-Catholic; if this weren’t the case maybe there wouldn’t be any Protestants.

I’ll leave it at that; I want to see first if I’m on your wavelength at all before posting more stuff that is likely to draw fire.

Alan


#15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.