Faith and Meaning

“If you think of this world as a place simply intended for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place for training and correction and it's not so bad.” C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock

Genuine faith: it is absolute dedication to things which are not seen, but which are capable of filling and ennobling a whole life.” ~ John Paul the Great

Faith is the ability to go beyond our own human, intramundane and personal truth and apprehend the absolute truth of the God who unveils and offers himself to us, acknowledging it to be the greater truth, allowing it to be the decisive factor in our lives.” ~ Hans Urs von Balthasar

Theology as ...

  • expressed in Scripture
  • identified with the Apostolic faith (a regula fidei)
  • formulated in Apostles and Nicene Creeds
  • entrusted to the Church, specifically its Bishops (apostolic succession)
  • realized in prayer (lex credendi...lex orandi)
  • Sacramental, in the sense that reality is more than what is physical, measurable, definable
  • opposed to the gods of the culture in which it is embedded

A catholic, orthodox, protesting theology

  • catholic: of the whole Church
  • orthodox: the faith of Scripture, Apostles, Creeds, Church, Saints and Doctors
  • protestant: protest against all attempts to stand between the person and Jesus Christ, and
  • protest against Enlightenment, modern, secular, dehumanizing post-modern culture

Human longing, according to CS Lewis:

Human loneliness is indication that the person is not home; or that the human person has something within that this world is unable to fill. The human person was designed for life in another world:

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world” (MC 3.10)

“How could an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself? …Do fish complain of the sea for being wet?…If you really are the product of a materialistic universe, how is it that you don’t feel at home here” (Encounter with Light)

“Our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation” (Transposition, c. 2)

Providing for the person's longing/hunger means searching for truth, however uncomfortable:

“In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is the one thing that you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth — only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair” (MC 1.5)

Pursuing that which answers the person's longing is the essence of religion:

“The essence of religion, in my view, is the thirst for an end higher than natural ends; the finite self’s desire for, and acquiescence in, and self-rejection in favour of, an object wholly good and wholly good for it. That the self-rejection will turn out to be also a self-finding, that bread cast upon the waters will be found after many days, that to die is to live — these are sacred paradoxes of which the human race must not be told too soon” (“Christian Reply to Professor Price”) 

Am I an I? "And presently you begin to wonder whether you are yet, in any full sense, a person at all; whether you are entitled to call yourself ‘I’ (it is a sacred name). In that way, the process is like being psycho-analysed, only cheaper—I mean, in dollars; in some other ways it may be more costly. You find that what you called yourself is only a thin film on the surface of an unsounded and dangerous sea. But not merely dangerous. Radiant things, delights and inspirations, come to the surface as well as snarling resentments and nagging lusts. One’s ordinary self is, then, a mere facade. There’s a huge area out of sight behind it.." ("The Seeing Eye")