The below was written for a friend that is struggling with their faith. It is a 25 step progression proving God’s existence and that he created the Catholic Church for our salvation. It is beautifully written.
Please share with everybody you can.
Let’s look at the most basic facts of the case, in 25 steps.
1. We are here. You are, in fact, here and exist.
2. None of us put ourselves here, not you, not I. This is true of all humans.
3. Someone else did.
4. That “someone” is so profound, intricate and mysterious a being that we call him God.
5. God came to us as man in nature, yet still divine in his being, in Jesus Christ. We know this by the Resurrection.
6. As the Son of Man, he performed miracles, taught, obeyed, was raised, befriended, loved, spoke the Truth. But he spent not nearly as much time on these as he did one other thing: Establishing his Church through the Apostles. The sole purpose of Christ’s coming was to display to us what it means to become fully human, fully ourselves in our intended purpose, thereby achieving eternal paradise.
7. The reason this is done through His Holy Catholic Church only: God created one church. Words and teachings and examples are noble, good and necessary. But as we are weak and flawed and material too, establishing an actual concrete flesh and blood MEANS to follow him is crucial to our return. (This is flesh and blood means is accomplished literally in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.)
And since we are mere human beings, we are bound by the soul and yet persuaded by the body. This is the why of the Sacraments, the supernatural graces flow from these physical signs. To physically speak your sins and your remorse for them, and to physically hear absolution. There is not a single substitute for the Sacrament of Confession in existence, no matter how great your faith and prayer life.
8. What are we returning to? To our origins in God. Without which we will never be good or OK. Not in this life and certainly not the next. This material world will never suffice to ease our inherited restlessness and confusion and incompleteness. And he wants desperately to ease this, just as you would move an ocean to ease any of your children’s pain.
9. We all were given minds with which we are free to seek this truth or to not. But truth is not ever dependent upon our belief in it.
10. We often think, with these minds, that we are smarter than to believe in a Creator. But the ability to be able to think this, or anything, in the first place comes not from ourselves.
11. We were all given minds to think. This must be reiterated because it is in itself, completely inexplicable. That this organ, a mushy lump of tissue, can cause us to “be” who we are, is a mystery. How can mere cells cause this fact of animated being? A physical organ that causes a mostly non-mechanical function. (The function of every other organ IS mechanical.)
12. This is because there is also something else at hand. That mystery that we will never be able to fully comprehend, but can contemplate in endless wonder through His Holy Mother Catholic Church. This he, and not a human, established as the method.
13. We merely need to “consult that which is” according to Fr. James V. Schall to see that there is an undeniable order in all that surrounds us, from the smallest to the largest. From the acorn to the cosmos.
14. External Order: No form of order can be either an accident nor an evolutionary product of time. True meaningless accidents do not have logical and beautiful outcomes. And no amount of time can create something out of nothing. Inanimate objects as well as living things without logic and intelligence cannot create themselves, nor the order to which they belong. Nor can those with reason and intelligence.
15. Internal order: Animals do not provide themselves with instinct. It is simply present. (Did the chipmunk give himself the idea to store nuts in his cheek to be consumed later during the hard months of winter?)
Nor can the most intelligent of the living creatures, man, give himself his internal order and the ability to reason. This reason can and should be constantly tended to, but man cannot and did not create this ability. Indeed, while man can make things, he has created nothing.
16. On the unimportance of the material: Everything you currently posses or have in your life, including other humans, can be removed from you in an unforeseen instant. Every single thing. But for one.
17. That one thing: It’s your soul. Your inevitability toward the everlasting.
18. The only thing in this life we can control is our souls. And not coincidentally, this happens to be the only thing that matters and the only thing that is lasting.
19. On eternity and that soul: Heaven and Hell are both God’s fulfilling of his promise to us to give us what we desire. If you desire and choose your Maker, you will have him for all eternity. If you consistently choose yourself without remorse, then that too is what you will have for all eternity. Allow your soul to be purified, receive the divine grace of actual forgiveness in frequent confession thereby bringing yourself steps closer to the Beatific Vision that awaits.
So, here are the two options: An eternity in beauty with the One who created all beauty, or an eternity with your confined self, surrounded by others who pursue the same. This is a state in which you are never able to benefit from or even feel remorse, and so you will never be cleansed of all that is wrong in you.
20. It is indeed true that God is all merciful. But he will not give us something we do not want. We must ask for mercy for ourselves and others.
21. Ask for truth and you will not be denied.
22. This truth you seek will be revealed through the most powerful and sacred of communications with God. The Extraordinary Form of the Latin Mass. Attend one and you will find not a single human fingerprint on it. It was created by God and so God is who you will find there; in the words of an uncorrupted language, in the smell of the incense, in each carving and color, in every note, every echo of each note. In the protective authority. In the Sacrament. It is the home he gave us here.
23. Ask yourself; What is love? Why do I have it, how is it that I can give it?
24. Ask yourself; Why all this beauty…..?
25. If we think we have it all here, we must remember that we will have none of it when we die. But we will retain the best of these, the highest things, if we choose to, through the supernatural power of the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. The next life is much longer than this one. Use your reason, then apply it to your will. Which do you choose?
Each breath in your lungs is a gift. From whence and whom does it come? Ask the One who knows all, what it is he wants you to know. If you don’t want to know it, ask him for the gift of wonder. It the greatest of gifts, it reveals a boundless beauty, and love, and it gets us back home for good.
Is it a fantastic explanation for all of this? Yes. And it is still the one that makes the most sense.
The mystery that is the magnitude and power of our Creator, revealed in the endless array of his creation, is one you will not soon grow weary of contemplating. In a place where most things readily slip from our worldly grasp, thoughts on the highest things will never run out. Truth is thrilling.
Use your reason, then apply it to your will.
– by Mary Beth Zeleznik Artz; 13 May 2015, The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima