“God Writes Straight With Crooked Lines” — Spanish Proverb
This is the sixth and final installment of “Embracing Doubt to Grow to a Mature Faith”. [A fully summary of the series is set forth at the end.] Today, we will continue with the author Julian May’s explanation of Christianity based on the philosophical insights of Teilhard de Chardin. You can find a more brief summary of Julian May’s outstanding Galatic Milieu series in Part V (which I strongly recommend you read for background), but for anyone who likes science fiction and is a fan of Teilhard de Chardin, I would strongly recommend reading the Galactic Milieu and Pliocene Exile series. They create a wonderful vision of the future based on Teilhard’s ideas, as well as highlight the all-too human eternal truths of love, pain, sin and redemption on a grand scale in a manner that only great stories can.
Set forth below is a continuation of my adaptation of the telepathic conversion between Teresa Kendall Remillard and her unborn son, Jon Remillard:
Jack said: “God’s creation of the Universe out of love is very mysterious. Contrary to common sense!… Why do I find the concept pleasing? Mama, why do you give gifts at Christmas?”
Teresa: “It’s a tradition. Wise men gave gifts to the infant Jesus. To Baby God. And he is God’s gift to us.”
Jack said: “That’s the biggest paradox. Even greater than Creation. It was quite unnecessary for God to become human and teach us his love in person. I can see why some Earth religions deny that it happened.”
“Yes, Incarnation is quite absurd. But you must admit it would be an excellent way to catch our attention! And so madly elegant. It’s also much easier for us to pray to and love a God-made-man, who would be more likely to understand our human difficulties, than to try to love an almighty Big-Bang-Creator. Why should he care if my roast is overdone or if I live long enough for you to be safely born?”
Jack said: “I would like him to care.”
“Ah! Now we’re moving into psychology! An incarnate, loving God takes on significant mythic overtones that appeal to the deepest levels of the human psyche. To that almost instinctive part of us called the collective unconscious.”
“I have not yet had any experience of that.”
“You will,” Teresa laughed, “when you really begin to socialize.”
“I—I wish I did not have to. Opening myself up to others can be painful as others are not always nice.”
“You mustn’t fret about it. All people have good and bad in them. I do, and so do you. This is one reason why a loving God is such an amazing consolation. He has no dark about him at all. God must know all there is to know about us—and yet he loves us anyway. He only wishes us well, even when we’re wicked or when we deny him. We would never have guessed that about him in a million years, if he hadn’t told us. It’s mysterious beyond belief”
“But is this mystery true?”
“Of course, none of this is proof of God’s Incarnation. Even though the evidence strongly points to the Incarnation, ultimately it can’t be proved. But I believe it, and so does Uncle Rogi, and your Papa and brothers and sisters, and billions of other entities. That kind of belief is called faith.”
She gave Jack a giant hug and closed her eyes for a moment. “I have faith in God’s love just as I have faith in your great future, Jack. There are many things that frighten me and other things that make me very unhappy. But if I can just hold on to faith, I won’t give in to despair. I won’t.”
Here is a fully summary of the “Embracing Doubt to Grow to a Mature Faith Series”
Part I: James Martin, S.J.: The Path of Disbelief.
Part II: Pope Emeritus Benedict on how doubt serves as a springboard to a richer faith experience.
Part III: Pope Emeritus Benedict on how faith and doubt can form the basis of cordial dialogue with non-believers and a deeper understanding of our common humanity.
Part IV: Deacon David Backes on how God would prefer that we wonder in search of the Truth rather than spend our life as spiritual zombies.
Part V: Julian May’s explanation of God’s creation through her wonderful Teilhardian vision of the future evolution of humanity.
Part VI: Julian’s explanation for the Incarnation as part of the Teilhardian evolutionary vision.
A complete summary of my adaptation of Julian May’s beautiful and succinct explanation of Christianity can be found here.