Wednesday, May 20, 2009

To an Unknown God

Having had to get up very early in order to give my mum a lift to hospital for her operation, I decided to go on to the early Mass at Carmel and pray for her...  The first reading was from Acts, detailing St Paul's "interfaith dialogue" with the Athenians at the Areopagus: after somewhat slyly telling them that he'd noticed how very religious they are, in fact to the degree that they had an altar to an unknown god (meaning, one of their pretended deities which they may have forgotten to propitiate), he went on to boldly preach the True God and His Risen Son to them; some scoffed, but others where converted, as famously Dionysius the Areopagite.

I suppose this is the model for reaching out to non-Christians: even the most polytheistic cults tend to have some supreme being (usually imagined as so high and mighty as to be unconcerned and soi disant about things below), and the God they seek after so blindly is in fact the living God Who made heaven and earth, "in Whom we live and move and have our being" - and St Paul rightly and appropriately added, "for are we not all His children?" (quoting with approval one of the pagan poets).  We must start by affirming that there is, above whatever imagined "gods" anyone may have, One, Immense, Omnipotent, Everliving God, the Creator: and from this exercise in theodicy go on to proclaim what Divine Revelation reveals beyond this - that God the Creator of all is Three Persons, the Second of Whom took flesh and died for man's salvation, and established His Indefectible Church (or assembly of those called forth from the massa damnata), fully in possession of all the means of salvation (doctrine and sacraments), upon His first Apostle, Peter, and his successors, down to Benedict XVI now gloriously reigning.


It is now evening: my mum's come through the operation, and I'll soon go and visit her (and drive dad over to see her too).

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