November 12, 2017

Friends,

We have a lot of opportunities to broaden our horizons and to expand our understanding if we are willing to listen. I was raised to know right from wrong and was held accountable for poor choices in my life. I had a good family structure and knew that I always had to answer to someone. I pretty much accepted everything I was told as the truth because someone older than I and more knowledgeable told it to me. Somewhere along the line I began to wonder and question where everyone else got their knowledge and when. Because if the whole truth became known at some point in history I wanted to know when that was. Would it make a difference if we became aware of new information or knowledge that might influence what we were taught as facts?

As far as religion went, I just assumed that anything I was taught had always been taught because it was the truth. I started thinking unconsciously that if a doctrine or dogma originated in early centuries or in the middle ages did it have to be the truth for all time? Or were some of the “truths” that were believed only because the world was so small and the information was limited? But as the world expanded and we became more knowledgeable couldn’t we change our teaching about issues we believed were “settled”?

I look at the field of medicine for example and realize there are very few among us who don’t appreciate the advances that have been made through research and how we have changed our beliefs about certain treatments and diseases. Would we want to ignore the insight of men and women who devote their lives to making us healthier?

I look at the legal field and truly appreciate the laws that were enacted centuries ago and fulfilled the needs of humanity at the time. I am also grateful that we continue to enact new laws that have to respond to the needs of our day, which are very different from the world of our ancestors or even past generations.

We strongly encourage advancement in the medical and legal fields and award scholars in those areas for their academic achievements. 

Why is it that any theologian that spends his or her life doing the same in the field of religion can be such a threat to so many faith-filled people? Why don’t we welcome and embrace those new revelations?

There are a lot of things I was taught about God that I no longer believe. There are many things I believe today about God that I have learned through study, prayer, reading, and listening. 

I cannot ignore theological insight nor do I want to, because it is enhancing my life and deepening my relationship with God.

It is an investment for me and any investment involves time. If people choose not to invest their time this way, that’s a choice they are free to make. I can only encourage.

Enjoy Life!
Fr Coyne

 

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