What was I thinking? William James and his dog; God and Job; the Trinity and St. Augustine; John Stuart Mill and disbelief; Auschwitz. What do all these things have in common? All are pondered in Lesson 3 — The Mystery of God — in Father Robert Barron’s 10-part series “Catholicism.”
Who among us has anything, including ourselves, all figured out? No matter how old we are? Fr. Barron, citing Augustine, says: “The minute you think you have God all figured out — you don’t!” First, God is. The essence of God’s being is love which is expressed in creation, and uniquely in contrast to other ancient creation stories, non-violent creation. Such creation gives a model for non-violent living.”
But what about Auschwitz? God only answers Job’s questions with infinitely larger questions on a virtual tour of the universe. Like William James’ dog, we can see the globe and the shelves of books with virtually no understanding of their meaning. St. Augustine tries to help us by an analogy of the Trinity — mind/spirit leading to self-knowledge leading to self-love, that is, a loving communion of persons.
What was I thinking? Self-asking, self-seeking, understanding are different aspects of the same thing.
Isn’t it true that our most precious memories and moments involve loving relationships? And isn’t that something we all desire more of?
If you do, we’d love for you to join us at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. If that’s not possible, you can buy the DVD series and view it with family or friends at home. We’re thinking you’ll love it — the music, the art, but mostly — the gentle, thoughtful teaching of Fr. Barron on the treasure of our faith.