As the Greek philosopher Aristotle pointed out about three centuries before the time of Christ, the human mind wants to KNOW. We know that even small children constantly ask “Why?” and they take things apart to see what’s inside, or what makes them work in the case of mechanical objects. Man has always wanted to know about God, since we are naturally religious.
There are two ways by which the human mind can achieve knowledge about God. One is our own reason, figuring things out. The other is if God tells us things about himself that we couldn’t otherwise know. We can know, for example that there is a God simply by looking around us. Every effect must have a cause, and the greater the effect, the greater the cause. A bird can build a nest, but it can’t produce an automobile. Only a fool would conclude that a Cadillac was produced by a flock of sparrows. Bees can make hives and then produce honey, but they can’t produce the flowers from which they make the honey. The immensity, the beauty, the complexity of the world tells any rational person that the universe was brought into being by an enormously powerful, complex, and intelligent creator. We use our wonderful bodies and even more wonderful minds, and yet we certainly can’t design or produce these things. A woman can give birth to a child, but has no idea of how that child was produced within her womb. If she didn’t design it, who did? We call that designer “God.” That is the use of human reason to conclude that God is a tremendously wise and capable cause.
But then, God wishes to tell us more about himself than we could ever know by the use of our own minds. For example, the fact that there are three persons in the one God. That was revealed to us by Christ; we could never have figured that out on our own. Back to Aristotle: he asked the question: Does God love us? And his answer was “No.” Why? Because real personal love can only exist between things that are about equal, and we are in NO WAY equal to God. We humans don’t love earthworms or blades of grass. Why should God love us? But he spoke to us in the Old Testament and the New, and told us very definitely that he does indeed love us, and wants us to love him in return. This is revelation, not reason.
So today, let us be grateful for divine revelation which reaches its apex in Our Lord Jesus Christ. How fortunate we are to know so much about our almighty and all-loving God, and to see him in human form in the person of Jesus! Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.