Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The REALity of God

The REALity of God

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Tuesday, February 1, 2005 12:14 AM

Ah Christ, that it were possible for one short hour to see the souls we loved, that they might tell us what and where they be.”

Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote these words. In the light of the deep grief that the nation felt with the sudden death of Fernando Poe Jr. and KC de Venecia, the lines above become more meaningful.

There is so much that is unknown about death and beyond. There are those who truly believe that there is nothing beyond. They are convinced that this life is all we have.

Then there are those who say no and who believe that there is life after life. But it is so vague, so mysterious that those of us who are left behind when a loved one passes away can only wonder—“what and where they be.”

There is heaven, but we know next to nothing about it except that our faith tells us that it exists and it is where God takes us if we have lived a good life. But then again, we can’t help but wonder what it is like “up there,” even if we are spinning on a tiny planet in the vastness of space and there is as much down there as there is up there.

What will it be like living in the presence of God for eternity? What will we do? Will it be boring? If not, how exciting will it be and what is the nature of the excitement? Will we communicate with others? If so, how? By talking or by some other mysterious method?

And what about purgatory? What does it mean to spend time there when beyond death there is only timelessness?

And what about hell? If we become spirits, how can we burn? We will suffer in hell, but what kind of suffering? It’s all so vague, yet the thought of having to spend an eternity in pain either causes great fear or perhaps lets some of us believe that it just won’t happen.But then the question arises: Do we REALLY believe in God? The other day, in a chapel, I asked a group of men and women the question, “How many of you believe in God?” All the hands went up. Then I asked, “How many of you REALLY believe in God?” Though most still raised their hands, a number of people did not.

I’m not sure if this is true of some of us believers. We believe, but do not REALLY believe. Not enough to behave as if God is REAL in our lives. It seems to me that if we TRULY believed we would behave differently. If our faith isn’t strong, then we might take the chance that maybe He doesn’t exist and our behavior will then reflect this lack of belief.

The demands of the commandments and the way of Christ are not easy and call for a good measure of self-discipline and control. If God is present (real) in our lives, it is made easier for us because He becomes a strong motivating force. Not because we fear Him but more because we long to be with Him in the life beyond the grave.

Lord Byron said it well:

“I feel my immortality o’er sweep all pains, all tears, all fears and peal like the eternal thunders of the deep, into my ears this truth: Thou livest forever!”


If you have problems about drugs, alcohol and behavior/attitude call my office at 820-6107 or 825-1771 or, e-mail me at gvcbuenca@vasia.com or write me at P.O. Box 2099 mcpo, Makati City


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