Monday, November 21, 2011

Death Is Eternal Whatever Its Nature *plus* Faith and Reason

It's a cloudy November day. Yes, we have those in California. The kids have colds, so they're spending the day curled in their beds, so I could take the time to work on my novel. But I'm feeling like spending the day philosophizing and that sort of writing could grow annoying in a young adult fantasy novel, so I'll smear it on my blog instead.
On my way home to the Catholic Church a few years ago, one of the first people I stumbled upon was Blaise Pascal. He's a 17th century physicist, mathematician, and Christian apologist. (An apologist explains the faith. It doesn't mean they say they're sorry about it.) You can read a short write up onPascal at the Catholic Encyclopedia. It explains his faults as well, so you'll know he was not perfect.
I "met" him in the teacher's edition of a math book, of all places--well, not "of all places" as if that were strange. He was a math wizard. But what struck me was the little side bar of random facts. I don't recall now which fact it mentioned, but it had something to do with his conversion and faith. It was one of those epiphany moments because I was ready for it.

I'd left the Church in my youth, traveled through misguided beliefs, and wound up lost. As a child, I loved God, tried teaching myself the Rosary, and attempted to read the Bible cover to cover, but had no real guidance. Thinking it was all only sentimentality, I was able to let my religion go. I'm a person who embraces logic. But I'd been aching for God and ready to hear him call me. You never know how he'll call to you.

So, I high-tailed it down to the library and got me Pascal's Pensées and practically swallowed it whole. Here was an incredibly intelligent, scientific man with extreme faith in God. He gives logical reasons for faith, and then tells us that reason cannot give you faith. Pascal, you sly dog. :p

On a semi-related topic, I want to share a fascinating website, the Magis Center of Reason and Faith. There you can read about proofs for God's existance. Fr. Spitzer was on Catholic Answers recently (11-14-11) talking about it.

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