This past week I had the (surprise!) pleasure of substituting in one of our second-grade classrooms. The students’ glowing enthusiasm reminded me of why God wants us each to have a childlike faith. What awed me is that they were unafraid to ask the kind of deep questions that so many adults forget to ask. Here are the ones I can remember:
- How did God become?
- How did He make the world?
- What is eternity?
- What is sin? What happens when we sin?
- Is Hell real? Where is it?
- What is crucifixion? Is God dead or alive?
- What’s a sacrament? What does that oil smell like?
- Is Heaven like a dream?
I congratulated them for asking, and tried my best to answer in the short time that we had together. But now here’s my question for the rest of us: Are we continuing to eagerly ask the good questions, or are we blurring over that fundamental impulse with a constant stream of noise and busyness? And when we do dare to ask the questions, are we hunting down good, true answers or making up our own just to silence the uncertainty?
We are blessed to have a wealth of authoritative answers; this is a time of superabundance of Catholic information – in books and other written media, online, on the radio, on TV, you name it. Of course we must be careful to choose our sources wisely. One of my very favorite Catholic answerers is Peter Kreeft. Do you have a favorite, too?
Like little children, we all must keep forming and informing our faith so that when it’s our turn to give good answers, others may be given the opportunity to fall in love with our Living God by means of a personal encounter that is (as Pope Francis recently exhorted us to be) “simple, profound, and radiant.”