Part II: I hope you’re right

Part II: I hope you’re right

File:Noahs Ark.jpg

 

The surgery was late because of an emergency C section and my mom and I sat together in an oversized chair like college roommates, sharing the earphones connected to my Iphone which was playing a rosary app.

And the elevator doors across the hall opened.

Let’s just say two men I know very well– exited…and they’re successful doctors in their own right…who have lots of questions about religion and God and usually once that conversation gets rolling it has never failed to heat up a room.

This is the hospital where I have heard so many great testimonies of God’s amazing grace and written about them, where I’ve heard people tell me their heartfelt sorrows, been privileged to dry their tears, where I’ve prayed a few into eternal life. It’s a place where I’m fairly comfortable, perhaps even confident, because it’s familiar. I’m confident only because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is present there despite the disease that runs rampant through the halls like a thief in the night. People find God there because He is the Great Physician who breaks through the darkness of their pain; His skilled Hands once molded them in the secret place and He who knit them in the womb of their mother holds them close to His Most Sacred Heart.

I have seen the love of God transform patients with my own eyes. To me they are modern day miracles no less remarkable than the bodily restoration at the hands of the most skilled surgeon– because spiritual miracles are eternal.

There is no other god like Him.

 

“{…}there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me.

Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.’

 

Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed, all who were incensed against him. In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory.”

 —-Is 45: 21b-25

 

I’ve held off writing part 2 for a few days, because I’d been praying, wanting to be careful not to compromise the relationships involved. But, I think it’s important to share the struggle of the new evangelization. The result of the that day’s challenge to faith energized me and I recognize anew that whatever happened in the years following Vatican II and the subsequent catechesis, something was terribly lost in the translation and we now have souls– brilliant in other walks of life–good and loving people, who grew up in the church but now have no idea who Jesus is. They are very articulate in their own field of science but in regards to matters of faith, they are deaf, dumb and blind. We have a culture of elites in our society; academia’s and cultured folks trying to rewrite the core of faith.

As Al Kresta mentioned in a recent interview, the opposition to faith we encounter today encompasses a twisted “new aged self-styled spirituality of Oprah”, “self sufficient men of technology and…secular scientists.” He said people have poured their own meaning into spirituality and it’s “no longer about a Divine Person, but divine ideology.” Whatever form of faith one has developed for themselves I might add.

Most of the day was spent with my two friends in a hospital room and then the cafeteria, battling against arrows aimed at the faith that kept coming fast and furious. But, I was happy to oblige and to the best of my ability I gave answers from the head and heart to quips like:

 

  • every culture has a creation and flood story
  • you can’t prove there is a God
  • science can prove what it states
  • you can’t trust the validity of the Bible, it’s all from oral tradition
  • where are the miracles of today like those in the Bible ( I thought you just said we can’t trust the Bible)
  • How can Christianity claim to have the only way to Heaven
  • What about the Hindu’s and the Buddhist’s and the …..
  • A changed life is no evidence of God, atheists have changed lives too
  • A good God won’t turn good people away from Heaven

 

Later, after we decided to call it a day on the discussion front before we threw the rest of our lunch at each other, I realized I’d made a big mistake and that in my enthusiasm to share the faith I fell into a trap, got scared thinking I had to “win” the theological tug of war and as a result, failed to ask the only question that really mattered:

What are you going to do with Jesus?

 

Are you saying He didn’t exist, because then it’s game over no discussion necessary. None of your other concerns really matter. 

Are you saying He does exist but you don’t believe what He says? Then you’re either denying Christ or calling Him a liar. Again, game over..

 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.

—John 14:6

 

For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.

—1 Timothy 2:5-6

 

Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

—1 John 2:23

 

 

I’ll never make that mistake again when confronting the self made relativistic ideologies of our modern day.

Despite the fatigue, worry and stress of the day I was energized, because I realized anew the depth of the crisis in our culture and that not only did the Lord Jesus Christ identify with sinful humanity on the cross– our physical sickness and poverty, but also our spiritual anguish. Only He can place His finger to this deafness and open unbelieving ears to receive the message of salvation. (Mark 7:31-37)

Pope St Gregory the Great said:

The Spirit is called the finger of God. When the Lord puts His fingers into the ears of the deaf mute-He was opening the soul of the man to faith through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

As we made our way out of the hospital and night spread the depth of it’s darkness like a winter’s blanket, I shared with my friends how happy I was with the good report from the surgeon and how relieved I was that their concerns for complications never surfaced. At 91 my aunt had successful major surgery and withstood all odds against her.

They knew prayer was involved…They had seen my mom and I praying the rosary, so I threw out one more comment for the road.

 

God loves us you know, and He answers prayers.

Don’t you think that’s an answer to prayer?

“Sure seems like it,” was their answer.

Well, it was. 

And as the elevator door closed I heard,

“I hope you’re right…”

 

I am right.

Because God can’t be wrong.

 

+PAX

 

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