Why does God remain hidden? For the believer, this question can challenge faith itself. For the non-believer, the question alone can be sufficient to prove the non-existence of God. So how can we begin to approach it in a way that can both deepen our own faith and help us respond to those who do not believe?
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man
or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered,
“Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works
of God might be made visible through him. (Jn 9: 1-3)
In the mid-1990s, a campus minister named Doug Schaupp was struggling with how to awaken faith in students. He and his ministry team at UCLA realized that “students weren’t responding in the same ways they had before. Sharing the truth of Jesus’ Gospel no longer moved people. Our evangelistic labors resonated less, and had less fruit.” 1
During the 1997-1998 school year, 37 students went through conversion experiences. Schaupp’s team responded by doing something unusual. They asked these students to describe their spiritual journeys.
Prayer In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul says, “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself.” (Phil 2:5-7) Why? To save us. Paul encourages us to imitate our Lord. When there’s someone we wish to pray for, we have to be able to go for broke. Oftentimes that includes prayer, fasting and penance.
Dear Fr. Joe: Every year, Lent happens and I start off really hoping to make something of it. My intentions are the best, but it always seems like, the next thing I know, it's Easter and I’ve missed it. Can you help me do better this year?
I believe I can help you! Let’s start with an important point: You are struggling with something that I think most people do – the inability to “get it right," no matter how good our intentions or plans. What do we do about that?
Does God exist? For Catholics, the answer to this question is ultimately a matter of faith. However, not everyone in the world shares this faith. So how are believers to argue for the existence of God when entering into dialogue with non-believers? A good place to begin is by looking back to a few of the more famous arguments put forward in favor of the existence of God. You will notice that each attempts to appeal to human reason, an approach that the Church approves of for it offers the possibility of encountering a starting point for discussion with non-believers.