It occurred to me today, on Easter Sunday, that I do my best thinking before going to sleep, after awaking from sleep, and on my knees—in church; because when you’re on your knees in church it’s about nothing new; it’s all stuff you’ve heard a million times before. I don’t mean to subtract from its significance, in fact, it’s the most significant portion of mass, that being the consecration; but, it is familiar and my mind does tend to wander, transiently snapping back for the this is my body, this is my blood parts (honest, Father).
I was back where it started, in a pew, if not the same pew, that I first thought of the first pillar of The Relativity Diet, emotional health. What I’ve come to realize is that the more I discovered, the more I read about our universe; its origin, the sub-atomic particles of which it is comprised, and the universal laws and constants that allow its existence, the more I came to believe in a Supreme Being. It’s not that I didn’t before; it’s just that I believe it more.
I know that others experience the opposite, and I can’t explain that other than the atheist’s belief in the absence of a Supreme Being is as much of a religion as is the religion of God for the simple reason that they can no more prove that He is not there than I can that He is. It therefore boils down to faith; either a faith in the god of No-God, or a faith in God. So, take your pick.
To prove to Father Carl that I actually pay attention in church, I’m going to use a sermon given by Fr. John Guthrie at the church of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Bismarck, N.D. as an analogy. I was in town for the funeral of my wife’s sister, and quite out of form, I actually attended mass twice that day—a funeral mass at 11 am, and an earlier 8 am mass given by Fr. Guthrie. Why did I go to church twice that day, you ask? Am I on the fast track to canonization, perhaps you might wonder? Sadly, no; my motivation was merely for the pleasure of hearing, and seeing, Fr. Guthrie with whom I graduated from high school exactly thirty years previous.
The good Father’s sermon was on the Imitation of Christ. I wish that I could insert a podcast for you to listen to; instead, you’ll need to endure my inept summarization. Fr. Guthrie spoke about the goal of approaching Christian perfection by becoming like Christ. He made the point that this is not something you pray for—it’s not something that can be given to you; it’s something that you have to give yourself; and you do that by acting like Christ. It is only by performing actions that Christ would perform, or thinking thoughts that are Christ-like; only then, will you become like Christ and approach the ideal of Christian perfection, understanding that it can only be fully realized in the life-after-life.
Now, I’m about as far from perfection as the Andromeda galaxy is from planet earth; I understand that—I get it; but, Fr. Guthrie’s sermon is completely analogous to the entire thrust of my first pillar of emotional health of The Relativity Diet. Emotional health is not something that is given to you; it’s something that you have to give yourself; and you do that by your thoughts and actions. It is by exercising the universal proof of the existence of free will, which I make in my book, that you will move towards a higher state of emotional health, and approach the perfection of Happiness. In effect, it is only in acting emotionally healthy; by performing positive actions, and by thinking positive thoughts; that you will become emotionally healthy. This is the deductive argument I make. You can pray for emotional health all day long, but in the end, you must give it to yourself–by the grace of God within; and by engaging in an active participation with the universe over a passive one.
Thanks for listening :^)