and atheists both contend that God is not knowable through reason. One can question whether this is from genuine intellectual conviction, or simply from lust which wants no God to ordain good and bad, make Commandments, or bode punishment. Of course, with what we have seen in the past forty years it seems that the Modernists simply want to abolish any threat to their lusts, and don't feel any need to be intellectually coherent.
The Modernist does not acknowledge objective truth, so objective
knowledge of anything becomes impossible and is replaced with mere
consensus of opinion. That is that everyone gets to express their
opinion and then a “truth” is created by merging those
opinions. Truth is created by “dialogue.” This is
obviously fallacious, as it leads to a truth that keeps changing as
new people enter the “conversation” or “dialogue,”
and as the old people develop new ideas. For the Modernist, not only
is God unknowable, but everything else is likewise unknowable. To
the Modernist, religion and belief in God is a mere “sentiment”
that some may possess and others may not—with the “sentiment”
being different from one person to the next, and quite possibly
changing with the passage of time and the experience of new things.
Modernism has the false appeal of seeming to be “tolerant,”
as everyone's opinion is as valid as anyone else's—but it dooms
the opinion holders to perpetual uncertainty and conjecture.
atheist may be a lot more realistic than the Modernist, and may
believe that there is objective truth in the universe, but he will
point out that inductive reasoning can be wrong if we fail in our
observations, or fail to observe all relevant things. He holds that
Christians have drawn the wrong conclusions from their observations,
and have therefore reasoned incorrectly to the
existence of God. For example, the atheist will deny our observation
that things require causes and that there must ultimately be an
Uncaused Cause, and a Prime Mover, and an Orderer of all things. The
atheist will often argue that the universe is eternal, and that life
somehow evolved from inanimate matter.
atheist is clearly wrong about evolution because complex things never
come into existence by themselves. No one on finding a wristwatch,
ticking and keeping correct time, will suppose that the watch just
assembled itself, or that the component parts of the watch came
accidentally into being, or that the materials for those component
parts just happened to by lying around in the right place at the
evolutionist will point to the similarity of human and animal
embryos, or the universal use of DNA in the animal kingdom, but
similarity and universality point to nothing more than a common
origin. If anything, they point to a creator who made variations on
a common theme.
evolutionist will claim that we can trace backwards through the
fossil records—the petrified remains of long dead beings—and
map a path that goes from man back to the most primitive single
celled animals. Yet, in actuality, no such complete fossil record
exists, and if it did, again it would do no more than point to an
Intelligent Designer, who built on His simplest work to produce His
more refined creatures. And it is significant to note that a great
deal of fraud has taken place over the years, on the part of
evolutionists falsifying fossils to claim they had found the “missing
link.” The “Nebraska man” and the “Piltdown
man” are examples of proven fraud—and the “Peking
man” might as well be another fraud, for all of its purported
fossils have gone missing! Apart from the alleged science of “global
warming” perhaps no science has been more fraudulent than the
alleged science of evolution.
an aside, I should note that the Modernist Jesuit “theologian,”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a paleontologist, and participated in
the discovery of the fraudulent “Peking man” and
spite of its seeming impossibility, the evolutionist will hold out
that given enough time, virtually anything can occur through random
chance. The favorite example is a group of monkeys at typewriters
pounding away at random—the claim is that eventually they will
type out all the works of William Shakespeare. Ignoring the fact
that the monkeys would have no way of recognizing what they had done,
one still has to question how much time it would take—and even
more, how much more time it would take to create the
enormous complexity of all the living things on earth, past and
present, through random actions.
atheist, recognizing the fact that no finite answer is adequate—not
millions, not billions, or even trillions of years—may resort
to the claim that the universe is eternal—that it always
existed on its own, without creation—and that an infinite
amount of time was available for things to evolve through random
chance to the state in which we find them today. But that is
unscientific as well. A universe infinitely old would have run all
of its natural processes to completion. All hydrogen and the light
elements would have undergone fusion to become heavier; all uranium
and the heavy elements would have undergone fission to become
lighter; perhaps leaving us with a universe made of some element in
the middle, like element number 46, palladium, or, perhaps something
more mundane like iron or zinc. All the planets would have collapsed
into the Sun. The Sun and every star would have burnt out long ago.
The galaxies, receding from us with their red-shift, would have
vanished before mankind ever looked into the night sky. Modern
science demonstrates that the world and the universe had to have a
beginning—which we call the Un-caused Cause, the Prime Mover, and the Orderer of all things—which we call God.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, the scholastic philosophers, and the Fathers of
Vatican Council I are on firm ground in saying that God “can
be known with certainty from the things that have been made, by the
natural light of human reason.”
in today's Gospel we see further proof of God's mastery over
creation. It is from Saint Matthew's eighth chapter, part of which
we read last week. Most of it deals with God's dominion over
creatures: He healed a leper and the centurion’s servant at a
distance; He healed Peter's wife's mother of a fever; on the other
side of the lake He cast out devils who possessed two men.
Non-believers will often try to pass these cures of as
“psychosomatic,” as though the illnesses and the cures
were in the minds of the sick—diabolic possession, they will
say, is nothing more than schizophrenia, curable through Freudian
psychoanalysis. Such explanations are not completely
unreasonable—but how exactly, we must ask them, do you
hypnotize the wind, and how do you psychoanalyze the sea? Human
beings may be open to suggestion, but it would take something like
the Prime Mover to calm the wind and the sea. What we have learned
through natural reason has prepared us to understand the miracles of
Jesus Christ, and to recognize Him as the Son of God.
also has prepared us to to learn something about Divine Providence.
God created all things from nothing and keeps them in existence. But
He appears not to “micro-manage.” He did not keep the
people in Matthew's Gospel from ever getting sick or in distress.
They actually had things like leprosy, paralysis, fever, and
diabolical possession; they actually got caught in storms on the Sea
of Galilee. Sometimes we have to ask for His help. Sometimes we
have to tug on the hem of the skirt of His Blessed Mother.
must always be prepared to accept God's will in any thing for which
we pray. Last week we heard the leper in the Gospel say to our Lord,
“ Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”
The Centurion simply stated his servant's plight, but placed no
demand on our Lord, having this marvelous faith, the like of which He
had not seen in all Israel.
there is an old joke about a fellow who hadn't prayed for years,
until his car stalled in the middle of a vast desert, at which point
he prayed most fervently—but, nonetheless his car wouldn't
start and he soon met Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates. When he told
Saint Peter his story, the Saint had to chuckle: “We couldn't
find you! It had been so long since we had heard from you that we
didn't know where you were! The Father started a couple of clunkers
on route 190, and two or three on route 95 down towards Las Vegas,
but you weren't in any of them. If only you had been in touch more
often.” Obviously, this is but a joke, for the omniscient God
can find anybody anywhere, but if we want His favor it certainly
makes sense to be in frequent communication with Him—in prayer,
at Mass, and in the Sacraments.
manner of man is this, that the winds and the sea obey Him?”
This Man is God, the Son of God, who hears the prayers of those who
call upon Him!