21. Nov, 2014

MYSTERY OF MYSTERIES

'Then alone do we know God truly, when we believe that God is far beyond all that we can possibly think of God'. (St.Thomas Aquinas). Here he zeroes in on the ultimate dilemma of our lives, how is it possible to make sense of the world, when on the one hand we are awash in proponents of rational thinking ( scientific extremists), and on the other hand, religious fundamentalists who refuse to accept science. So Aquinas is saying that neither stance provides the total answer to what life is really all about. Rather, it is a balanced approach, recognising the limits of science to explain the inexplicable, and calming the fundamentalist thinking with the realities of philosophy. It is the building of a path towards the truth, in its widest sense. This involves questioning and reflection. Aquinas's Natural Law principles state our responsibility to seek the Truth; To have freedom of worship; to observe the Cardinal Virtues; To preserve life. These and their linked consequences provide a foundation for action to discover what are the facts. These may be uncovering with our efforts the level of corruption in an organisation, or attempting to grasp God in our hands. At that point, reason tells us two things at least. One is that God is indeed beyond definition. Secondly, if so, does He exist? If our current understanding of meaning, is mainly scientific, then we need to answer what started the Creation process ? Chance, or an active agency? Of course we can ignore these matters, and switch on the television or have a beer, but then the very gift of an intellect that we have been given, is put to sleep.  Reading the papers on any day, shows us the level of damage being done in society. As Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179 A.D.) said: 'With my mouth, God says, I kiss my own creation.' It is the underlying creative Love that underpins our existence. Discovering new explanations about physical realities through science, is part of that. But it is not the total answer to the unanswerable.   Thank you. Tom Baxter