Dear Brothers and Sisters,
During Lent I will be writing a series of letters on the fundamentals of the faith. These are bedrock truths on which the Catholic faith is founded. If you don’t have these basics right, everything else will be built on sand.
The very first words in the Bible are, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” These few words remind us of a few basic truths. First of all, God reveals Himself through His creation. The Catholic faith teaches us that it is possible, indeed it is natural, for human beings to deduce God’s existence from the created world. This simple process of seeing the world around us and turning to God is called “General Revelation.”
While human beings can understand certain things from general revelation it is also necessary that God reveal Himself in more specific ways. He establishes a relationship with individual people. He speaks through His actions in the world. He calls them and leads them by His commandments and by the Holy Spirit. The book of Hebrews says, “In various ways and in various times God has spoken to our fathers.”
Most specifically, God has chosen to reveal Himself through the history of His relationship with the Hebrew people. The Old Testament is the story of this relationship. Through the ups and downs of their history, through signs and symbols, through direct revelation to the prophets, gradually God the Creator revealed more and more of Himself to His people.
It is vitally important to remember that history is “His Story”. The events in the world don’t just happen by chance any more than creation itself happened by chance.
In the modern world today, there are many who deny this truth. They think that whatever happens is simply the result of market forces, psychological forces, social pressures, and the stresses and strains of a kind of evolutionary process in which the fit survive and the weak wither away.
This is not the Catholic faith. Instead, we believe that from the beginning God created the world, and that He has stayed involved in His world–seeking always to bring His sons and daughters in the human race out of the darkness into which they have fallen, back into the light.
As Catholics we must shake off the complacency and lethargy that comes with thinking that everything happens by chance. It doesn’t. God is in charge and we are on His side. So, this Lent let’s take charge with God and take control of our lives so that we might move closer to the glory that is our destiny.
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