Not infrequently parents whose children are in their late teens or early twenties come to me concerned about the fact that their children are not actively practicing their faith. Some have stopped going to Mass or other worship services, others have toyed with atheism or at least expressed serious reservations about the faith in which they were raised.
Usually my counsel to parents in that situation is patience. If nothing else, the twists and turns of my own faith journey have convinced me that God has got it covered, that God is with each of those young people every step of the way and will help them find their way.
A book I’ve been reading shared two quotes, one by C.S. Lewis and the other by Karl Marx. One of the quotes, which could have been written by one of the young people whose parents have expressed concern to me, read like this:
You know, I think that I believe in no religion. There is absolutely no proof for any of them, and from a philosophical standpoint Christianity is not even the best. All religions, that is, all mythologies to give them their proper name, are merely man’s own invention – Christ as much as Loki. Primitive man found himself surrounded by all sorts of terrible things he didn’t understand….Thus religions, that is to say mythology, grew up. Often, too, great men were regarded as Gods after their death – such as Heracles or Odin: thus after the death of a Hebrew philosopher Yeshua (whose name we have corrupted into Jesus) he became regarded as a God, a cult sprang up, which was afterwards connected with the ancient Hebrew Yahweh-worship, and so Christianity came into being – one mythology among many.
Although many might guess that was the quote written by Karl Marx, in reality it was written by a young C.S. Lewis, in a letter he wrote when he was eighteen.
Clearly something happened that radically changed Lewis’ worldview. The truth is that God never stops trying and God will use all means at God’s disposal to help change our hearts.
“The truth is that God never stops trying and God will use all means at God’s disposal to help change our hearts.”
Is not the perception that ‘Religion’ is overly obsessed with supporting doctrine – doctrine often at odds with Jesus’ message – and ‘changing’ hearts than ‘knowing’ hearts and through a loving and serving ministry ‘drawing’ hearts to Jesus’ message?
Jesus’ -loaves and fishes- miracle preceded the Eucharistic meal for a reason – His welcome, invitation and feeding the ‘body’ came before His feeding the ‘soul’.
Is it God who must “never stop trying’? He gave us His Son – more 2,000 years ago. What more do we desire, or require?
Might it be the’ lives we live’ that have delayed God’s Plan? . . .