Gillick, Larry, S.J.
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I have a friend who is gravitationally challenged, that is he's God's little acre. He figures that according to Einstein's theory, energy results from MC squared, so that the more the mass the more the energy. He is presently resting comfortably thank you.Where will it all end, this parade of scientific and technological developments? Will Smart Phones un-dumby us in time? Does the availability of knowledge actually render us wiser? I have a little device that has eight hundred hours of listening room for books, music and digital games. In giving a class to our university students a first-year fellow asked me after the class what a telegram was. Imagine that. O well, I remember asking my father what a "button hook" was, that was before it became a football term. I asked the fellow if he had ever heard of a "transistor radio" and of course he smiled at my venerable state of antiquity.We have grown quite accustomed to the availability, absolute necessity of light. This is a good thing of course. Huge combines and tractors can work all night out on the Nebraska fields. People flip the light switch upon entering a lighted-room even if it is day-time; I suppose it is habit or they are planning to stay a while. Fog, backup, night, roof, flash, oven, search, street hall, reading, yard, garage all have their special lights and functions which is also a very good human desire. The result of these lights and many others is clarity and security.This dependency, this expectancy, this entitlement does make believing, having faith, trusting, much more difficult. We even have this little phrase, "Oh I see" meaning I understand. Trusting the directions one might give us to travel beyond our familiarity is made easier by technology. Trusting is going the way of the telegram; it just isn't necessary any more.Religious faith does seem to come with various lights such as scripture, tradition, miracles and prophets. Jesus claimed to be the "Light of the world". The problem is that these lights are not bright enough for certainty, clarity, security and self- assured living. It does require practice to trust. That's what you, the reader, have to do with this brilliant suggestion. Take little steps into the various experiences of life. Trust the dark of not knowing, not seeing, not having directions. Resist being so addicted, so habituated to the entitlement of little securities. Faith too can become a habit, but it does take practice. Entitlement of any sort is an illusion, a selfish-stance, and a fearful approach of relating. As the old song goes, "Turn the lights way down low." It is just a glimpse into lots of fog.