Tag Archives: St. Augustine

Ep40 Doubt Can Be a Virtue

Father Len reveals how doubts and questions about how God works in the world lead to wisdom and faith.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len explains the difference between doubt that is healthy and holy and doubt that is not healthy or holy.
  • True faith is believing in a God of love and impossibilities.
  • Doubt can be a blessing or a curse. Doubt about how God is working in your life and why is a blessing. Doubt about God’s love and your relationship with God is a curse.
  • “Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.” – Paul Tillich
  • “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” – Francis Bacon
  • Doubt can be a great friend of the truth.
  • Real learning occurs when we allow doubts and questions to arise.
  • The Greek word for doubt means two separate views. So, doubt is being torn apart by seeing two opposite things and trying to reconcile them.
  • “Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” – Khalil Gibran
  • Jesus allows and encourages people to challenge and question him throughout the Bible. Jesus is comfortable with questions because he wants them to lead to wisdom and certainty.
  • “People should question what’s going on in the world, question church authority, but not question that they’re in an unbreakable relationship with God.” – Father Len

Ep7 Defining God is Really Hard

Father Len explains that we don’t have the words or understanding to accurately define God, but our brains are hardwired to seek the divine.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Some notion of the divine has existed in every culture since the beginning of time.
  • Brain studies have shown that human beings are hardwired to think about God.
  • Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief” by Andrew Newberg, Eugene D’Aquili, Vince Rause
  • Accurately defining God is impossible for human beings. No description of God is ever perfect.
  • We try to describe God in human terms like God is love, God is like a father, and God is like a Shepherd. God is all these things, but way more.
  • Mystics over time have described God this way: “You are different, you are different, you are different. No thing in creation is an accurate image of God.”
  • In the Bible, when angels go to heaven they describe God like this: “You are holy, you are holy, you are holy.” In this case, the word holy means different.
  • God is always speaking to us. Human beings long to reply to this divine thing.
  • God is among us and through us, but not part of creation. Creation is not God.
  • The Bible says God is neither male nor female. The reference to “God the Father” does not mean God is a man. It describes God’s relationship with us likening it to the relationship between a loving parent and their child.
  • Augustine described God as “the lover, the beloved, and love itself” and alternately “the giver of the gift, the receiver of the gift, and the gift itself.”
  • Julian of Norwich described God this way: “God is creator, redeemer, and sanctifier.”
  • All of life has an element of mystery and surprise. Studies have shown that even couples married for 50 years, who know each other so well they can communicate through grunts, whistles, and glares, are surprised and mystified 15% of the time by something they learn about their spouse. We
  • Human beings are meant for relationship. Relationship with each other, creation, and God. No human being can satisfy all our relationship needs. Only God can fulfill these needs.
  • “In the beginning God created man in His own image, and man has been trying to repay the favor ever since.” – Voltaire