Open Your Heart and Your Mind Will Follow

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

I think everyone has a few Scripture verses that they resonate with or connect with in some way. I have a number of them. Two that we have recently heard: "Why do you search for the Living One amongst the dead?" & "Men of Galilee why do you stand there staring up at the sky?" Another one I really like is, "Cease your unbelief, and believe!"

I have always been struck by those who simply refuse to change their viewpoint, regardless of the evidence, or those who simply don't want to learn anything new, or even those who do not want to open their minds to the possibility of something. I once lived with one of our older men who had a reputation for being well-read. He heard that I had worked in Northern Ireland and asked me one day if I had any books on "The Troubles," as they were called. I lent him four or five books. He came back in only a few minutes complaining that he could not read "those" books. Puzzled, I asked him why? He responded, "Because they have the Protestant viewpoint as well as the Catholic!" Needless to say, I was floored by the thought that this "well-read" person refused to even read the other side of the debate. He was Catholic and defaulted to the, so called, "Catholic" side of the issue. And the truth is, the issues had nothing to do with religion.

I've run into quite a few people who simply refuse to open their mind to anyone else's opinion. Some who didn't want to know what the facts were, they simply dismissed anything that contradicted their belief. I've even met a few extreme cases who simply reshaped everything to fit their own personal universe. The internet, which gives everyone a stage for their opinions, is full of examples.

Faith requires us to open our heart and mind to the wonder of God. Most of us consider ourselves to be living in a very advanced scientific age. However, our God is unknowable. Faith requires a blind leap of trust. It is not about what we know, but what we are willing to accept in faith. We are often asked to believe in things that don't seem to make sense and are often contrary to logic and scientific knowledge: a virgin birth, loving our enemies, giving everything we have to the poor (even 10%), the fact that our God sent His Son to die on a cross for us. Marching to a different drummer is not an easy thing to do. Living a life that is counter-cultural is a challenge that many believers fail to do. So church, I encourage you...

 "Do not persist in your disbelief, but believe in your God!" " in you God!


In the Redeemer,

 Fr Rick