Sunday, May 29, 2016

Life Is Complicated And Yet It Is Simple

How's that for Zen?

In a typically cogent comment on this post, Tim mused about the "nebulously-defined benefits" of going to church. He perfectly encapsulates how we (members of the Church) consistently and completely miss the mark when we talk about the value of religion in your life. I myself am egregiously guilty of it.

It's the Truth, stupid.

We shouldn't attend services and practice our faith because we're going to get something out of it. We should do it because our faith is the Truth. The worldly benefits that accrue are natural and unavoidable side-effects of embracing the Truth.

I once gave a talk at a Cursillo in Action gathering where I laid this out. Practicing my Catholic faith was incredibly profitable in my life. Make no mistake, I mean my faith was enormously profitable in the worldly sense - money, friends and influence. While preparing for the talk, it took no time at all to come up with enough examples to fill 5 talks.

That's exactly what you would expect if Catholicism (a nod to my Protestant friends here*) was the Truth. Just as using Newton's Laws leads to lots of benefits in the practice of Physics, trying to imitate Christ leads to lots of benefits in life. If it didn't, then atheists, who thrive on empirical evidence, would posit a moral code totally at odds with ours. They typically don't. The empirical evidence they cite when talking about how atheists can be "good" is just looking at the reflection of the world on the surface of a pond and mistaking it for the real thing.

It's not the benefits that should drive you to Mass, it's the Truth. The benefits come when you embrace the Truth.

In the end, we all have our own internal concept of the Truth.

* - It is my deeply-held belief that Protestants will indeed go to heaven, but that they will get the rooms next to the elevators and ice makers.


Kelly the little black dog said...

That video is fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I love his vegan video.