<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/young-at-heart/”>Young At Heart</a>
two for the price of one, my seasonal prompt post to yesterday and today!
FOR EVER AND EVER AND EVER
I have included a lot of references in my 250 odd bloggs in the past couple of years to the spiritual side of my life and how I regard both faith (yesterday’s prompt) and existence (today’s). So I thought a short but precise definition of how I regard both topics, which I consider to be one and the same, would be both seasonal and serve the prompter’s demands.
Well my Faith is one of three cardinal virtues which exist and are available for all of us to put to good use in our lives as we have both a human (terrestrial) and spiritual (heavenly) nature. That is we each have a body and a soul. It is what we do throughout our lives in our human time that usually determines how we want to spend the whole of our existence in the second. So what do I believe? And do note I say ‘believe’ because I cannot prove my beliefs any more than those of us who deny the existence of their spiritual soul and its function can empirically prove that denial. If we could prove either then faith would not come into it. We would not need it would we? So given that I have a soul which does not cease to exist when my mortal body packs up, what do I actually think happens to me when I die?
Well, to start with I am a practising Christian, a Catholic one, whose soul was created by God. “Dear me”, do I hear some of you ask? Who on earth, or anywhere else for that matter, is this God of which you write? Indeed what is He, or She if such things as human gender even apply in Heaven and hell and all that sort of spiritual world? I have a simple answer to that. I haven’t a clue! But that is where my Faith comes in. My belief in God and the whole question of creation is for me, and indeed everyone, a complete mystery. It is the ultimate mystery the explanation of which I cannot know while in human form.
But it’s not as daft as I make it sound. Let me explain. I was born into the world, universe, cosmos call it what you will, that people inhabit in human form by the biological process which God created in order to make us able to procreate limitless people like ourselves. Over billions of human years we have developed until we have become the humans which science explains us as today. But that is all science can explain. This is just the medical history of our human physiological development and, therefore, also how we anatomically work and keep alive while in human form. Where science cannot tell us anything more is how we, or any cosmological atomic matter, was created out of nothing. That is the empirical and logical limitation of scientific knowledge. We can always carry on our human and cosmological research ad infinitum because our brains are clever enough, but we will never be able to know everything because there is no limit to knowledge. Does anyone know of a number to which we cannot add one? No, ergo there is no limit to abstract mathematical thought. Is there any limit to the number of times we can halve an atom or atomic particle? No. And why, because we are capable of rationally accepting that all matter can be divided into two parts however small. So in short we can never know the physical limitations of our world.
But there is a part of us which can think about these things. There is a part of us that can wonder about imponderable matters, without that being contradictory or tautologous. So we can pose the questions, which we cannot answer in the negative or affirmative, how did we become human and how did the world in which we live start? The big bang is no answer for all it does is hypothesise that something existed which could explode or implode in whatever way it did. Where did that come from? I don’t know. And nor does anyone. Atheists are people who choose to live within that part of existence which they can explore through physics, chemistry and mathematics, but always ignoring the spiritual side of their own selves. I know I have a spiritual nature because I use it to help me live. I am going to explain what I mean by that, but first I would like to mention the third type of human, the agnostic. That is someone who experiences the spiritual side of their natures but just cannot bring themselves to believe in a God or the idea even of a creator who made them. Fair enough. For many of us that is a very difficult thing to do if nothing sparks it off. But we all still have to decide whether we prefer the idea of atheistic infinity – nothing any more forever, or the hope that there is spiritual life for our souls after death. And the reason why we have to decide which of these eternal states exist for us is because they are the only possible ones there can be. So why am I a Christian who does believe, I would rather say knows, that there is a possible happy eternity for me? Let me tell you.
Above, I mentioned three cardinal, or most important, virtues that are available to all of us. These are faith, hope and charity, at least those are the Christian words for the three spiritual elements that exist in all people of all religions or none. But how do they make me believe in the Christian idea of a creator God, and most importantly a God who created me out of His love for me? From what I have said so far it is obvious that either a person is content to live without trying to explore the possibility of God creating them or they are not. That statement cannot be disputed by any form of human proof. Therefore everyone either decides, and it is a conscious decision, that life ends when they die or they try to find a way of keeping their souls alive and with a God who loves them for ever. Surely only a really hopeless person would choose the former. Everyone can and does practise the virtue of charity, which is simply showing their love for others by loving them, helping them and caring for them. That is the loveliest part of our human and spiritual natures that God created.
For those who do feel the spiritual attraction of a loving God with whom they can live for ever, if they believe God is theirs to be found, they will be happy on earth as well as for eternity. That is the virtue of faith. It is best defined by belief in what we want but the existence of which we cannot empirically prove.
But my Christianity is founded in its entirety on the fact that I spiritually and physically fell in love with God at a very young age, three and a half years, and He has never ceased loving me back. There are rules of conduct by which we should live, and thus know when we have hurt someone we love and so we know when we have sinned. But the one thing without which I certainly could not live is Hope. Hope that when this world is over I will love God as much as I have always done, and he and his Saints will reciprocate that love, as they have always done, and I shall spend eternity in peace and love. And They will explain to me why so much suffering has to be endured on earth first, for although I accept this I still do not understand it.
Finally, why on earth would any sane person not want the prospect of a happy eternity if they knew they could ask God to grant it to them? Okay, it’s not easy always being good, and I certainly have my fair share of sins piled high on my my shoulders. However I have an overwhelming feeling of so much love for my God that I cannot bring mself not to do all I can to help and pray for all my fellow men and women who do not know Him. Because He made them, He loves them and so, therefore, do I. All humans live dreadful lives at times, but that hope of everlasting light at the end of the tunnel can keep us going through the worst horrors of this world, and does if we ask for it. That really is all anyone has to do if, like me, they know God loves them.