I’m afraid I’ve struck a negative chord with a fellow blogger. The writer of Heaving Dead Cats, an atheist blog, has taken offense to some words I shared on Friday. In them, I referenced her blog post about her decision to create a new kind of holiday celebration. Just as her response was written for her readers, my initial post was written for mine and not to incite a battle. I knew I was taking a risk in sharing some of her thoughts, assuming she might find my post through a pingback, but it wasn’t meant to be a personal attack. Having found her blog by accident, and seeing the opportunity to bring forth light through an opposite point of view, it seemed a fitting way to share my thoughts on faith. Certainly, it’s within her right to respond. I might have done the same if the situation had been reversed.
Nevertheless, I find her response interesting on many levels, few of which I plan to expound upon here for lack of energy and desire to go much further with this. I am and always will be intrigued by how others think and process the world. Just as I’m curious about why and how people who lived for years without faith found it, as is the case of Jennifer of Conversion Diary, I’m curious about the reverse as well. I think it’s important for Christians in particular to understand why those who don’t believe have become (or have always been) disillusioned by faith. For one, within that mindset, there might be some clues into how we can lead even better faith lives. On occasion, we even find points of agreement within that atheistic mindset. But certainly, places of divergence as well.
Case in point: this particular writer contends that through reason, one can be lifted from the darkness of faith. And really, this is where I choose to bring my part of this online discussion of sorts to a close. There is nowhere for me, as one who has experienced the light of faith with every fiber of my being (body and soul), to go with this except back to the Light of Lights.
A friend of mine recently reminded me of something St. John of the Cross once said; something to the effect that it’s not the ones who boast about sitting next to God who are the closest to him, but those who are silent because they realize how impossible it is to contain God in their words. Though I have not always been silent about my love for God, nor do I think I ought to be, I do realize the truth of that very last thought. It is indeed impossible to contain God in my words. I might try, but I will always fall short in explaining the depth of all that God is.
And while we’ve got St. John of the Cross with us, the writer also argues that Christians are not thinkers, that those who truly think and reason inevitably become agnostic, and then, if they are really diligent in their thinking, atheist. I mention this because of the glaring error within those words. Who can call the writings of our church fathers, and the mystics, and all those deep-thinking saints who have brought us more deeply into our faith mere fluff, not reasonable?
In the end, though, there is nothing I can say to appease those who believe a life of non-belief is the more honorable, the right path. Nothing at all. And honestly, though I will stand up for my Catholic/Christian faith any day, it really requires no defense. The lived reality of its fruits are enough. Words can only go so far in explaining faith. It must be experienced to be grasped.
Before I go, I do feel I owe Heaving Dead Cats an apology for having pushed a button or two through my desire to make a point. As with all those with whom I come into contact, I wish her peace. She has a right to live her life however she sees fit.
And on that note, peace to all you readers in the week ahead. May you be blessed often in this waiting time of Advent’s third week!
Q4U: Where did you see/feel the light of faith this weekend?