A lot of people these days have gone from a light and superficial faith in God to an atheism equally frivolous and irresponsible. There are those who have eliminated all practice of religion from their lives and have blown off any relationship with a believing community. But is this enough to seriously resolve the personal position one has in the face of the ultimate mystery of life?
There are those who say that they don’t believe in the Church or in «the inventions of the priests», but do believe in God. However what does it mean to believe in a God that you never remember, with whom you never dialogue, to whom no one listens, from whom nothing is waited for with joy?
Others proclaim that it’s now the time to learn to live without God, confronting life with greater dignity and personality. But when their life is observed closely, it’s not easy to see how the abandonment of God has helped them concretely to live a more dignified and responsible life.
All too many have fabricated their own religion and have built a morality that suits them. Never have they sought anything else than to situate themselves with a certain amount of comfort in life, avoiding all questions that seriously challenge their existence.
Some don’t know how to say if they believe in God or not. In reality they don’t understand why such a thing could help. They go about so busy in working and enjoying, so distracted by the problems of each day, by programs on TV and by the magazines at week’s end, that God has no place in their lives.
But we believers make a mistake if we think that these frivolous atheisms are only found in those persons who dare to say openly that they don’t believe in God. This atheism can also penetrate the hearts of those who call ourselves believers: sometime we ourselves know that God isn’t the only Lord of our life, nor even the most important.
Let’s just do a test. What do we feel deep down in our conscience when we listen slowly to these words over and over and sincerely: «Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one, only Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength»? What space does God occupy in my heart, in my soul, in my mind, in my whole being?
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf