History, Current Events, and Belief

I would wonder how each of us would order history on a spectrum of events of importance to humanity, from most important to least significant. I suspect it would rank low.

I predict we would rank on the high end technology, politics, terrorism, economics and the like.  But good old history would be near the bottom.

One aspect of Catholicism that is of great importance is history.  We are a Church deeply appreciative of history.  We build upon history.   To understand Catholic belief requires a certain appreciation of the historical roots from which it came.  I submit this is true even for the child.  The child believes because he or she come to know that what they believe has come from their immediate ancestors.  Thinking adults deepen their understanding of Catholic belief by learning about the various councils, saints,  and theologians who have shaped the language of belief.

When one considers contemporary social issues such as same sex marriage, euthanasia, abortion, racism, economic disparity, how often do we complete an historical analysis of these issues before forming an opinion about them, or before criticizing the teaching of the Church?  Sadly, many form such opinions or offer such strident criticism with little or no understanding of the issue’s history.

My Jesuit education has formed me in in such a way to  look at whatever issue may be present from an historical view. My Jesuit professors always walked me through the subject matter from the beginning to the present, illustrating the development of thought and understanding.

Of course, to do this runs counter to the relativism in our society, and the importance of personal experience versus self-sacrifice for the sake of something greater.  History is some sense calls us to obedience.  We have to be willing to listen (obey) if we look at history.  It also calls us to belief.

It is not too hard to believe in God because His footprints are all over history. What is difficult is being willing to turn our lives over to Him.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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