Presentation on theme: "Is it reasonable to believe in God? A Question of Faith We come to believe in God by deciding for ourselves: whether other people’s reasons make sense;"— Presentation transcript:
Is it reasonable to believe in God? A Question of Faith We come to believe in God by deciding for ourselves: whether other people’s reasons make sense; with guidance from the teaching of the Church; that these reasons are convincing enough to lead us to faith. We experience God: through other people; through the world around us.
Is it reasonable to believe in God? A Question of Faith Do you believe in God? Why? How does that belief affect your life?
The heavens proclaim the glory of God The story of God is written in the natural world Biblical authors described God: God speaks like thunder or a soft gentle whisper. God’s action is like the storm, the earthquake, the flood or the avalanche. God is a mighty king, a stern judge, a gentle midwife, a loving father or mother. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold (Psalm 18). The Lord is my shepherd (Psalm 23).
The heavens proclaim the glory of God What are your words and images for God?
The heavens proclaim the glory of God The Catechism of the Catholic Church presents three ways to know God: 1. Creation 2. Human Person 3. Divine Revelation God is the ultimate MYSTERY God is Trinity means there is 1 God in 3 divine persons Atheists: Those who assert that there is NO god Agnostics: Those who can’t decide if God exists
We can begin to know God through human reasoning As human beings, with our human intellects, it is impossible for us to grasp fully what God is like or who God is St. Augustine said that if you thought you could fully understand God, it would not be God that you understood God transcends all human thinking – even Sacred Scripture Ultimately, faith in God is unreasonable!
We can begin to know God through human reasoning St. Thomas Aquinas Born in Aquino in Italy in 1225. Studied in Paris and Cologne, taught by St. Albert the Great. Ordained a Dominican priest. Nicknamed ‘the dumb ox’ (meaning ‘one who does not talk’). His great work, the Summa Theologica, used human reasoning to harmonize the truths of the Bible with Greek philosophy. Identified ‘five proofs’ for the existence of God. Died in 1274; canonized a saint and named a doctor of the Church. Patron saint for Catholic schools.
We can begin to know God through human reasoning The Five Proofs of St. Thomas Aquinas: The existence of a prime mover. Cause of existence, an uncreated creator. The existence of a necessary Being. A perfect standard by which all is measured. Universe designed by an intelligent designer.
Consider other arguments for God’s existence Consider the human response to evil Some philosophers propose: We can know of God from the reaction of most humans to evil. There is a moral law deeply embedded in the heart of people. The origin of this innate sense of right and wrong comes from God. Catechism of the Catholic Church says that our longings for infinite and for happiness points us toward the existence of God
Consider other arguments for God’s existence Transcendence Transcendence refers to the idea that God is so ‘beyond’ the universe, and so different from anything else that exists, that God cannot be directly experienced by human beings. A shorthand way of saying that God is transcendent is: ‘God is the absolute Other.’
The story of St. Katharine Drexel St. Katharine Drexel Born in Philadelphia in 1858 into a wealthy family. Became a missionary to Native Americans in the West and Southwest United States. Founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament religious order and opened a boarding school in Santa Fe. Founded Xavier University in New Orleans, the first US university for African Americans. Died in 1955 and was canonized in 2000.