The most important question in man’s life is not: “Will Communism conquer the world?” not “Will man find a defence against the atomic bomb?” nor ”Will civilization be wiped out in the next war’?” The most important question is “Did God speak to man and if He did, what did He say?”
This has always been the most important question, and it always will be. But it is remarkable that the same men who will spend almost every waking minute of their life looking for a way to do something difficult like splitting the atom, will not give a second thought to answering this question.
And those who look upon Communism as a great cause and give their lives to helping it, never think that really very little would be accomplished even if Communism won the world, compared to what could be accomplished if the knowledge of what God has said to man were to sweep the earth. As a matter of fact, it was to correct this very situation that God did speak to the world. He knew that man is drawn to the things that concern his body and please his senses, and finds it difficult to rise above them to things of the spirit. He knew that the bread of wheat which feeds the body seems much more important in many men’s minds than the bread of the spirit which is the knowledge of God.
And so He made it easv for men to know Him and His truth. He spoke to men, telling them first, through the Hebrew Patriarchs and ancients of old, the most simplest and most necessaty truths. Later, through the Prophets, He made known deeper and sublimer truths. And finally, through His own Divine Son, He gave to men and explained to them the full knowledge of supernatural truth. Yes, He made it easy. But in this very ease some proud men now profess to find a difficulty. God would not condescend to speak thus to mere men, the dust of the earth, they say. Yet how can they dare to put a limit to the goodness of God or to His power?
God by His revelation, St. Paul tells us, has “turned to foolishness the ‘wisdom’ ‘ of this world” (I Cor.i.20). And to the disdainful intellectuals of this world, proud of their own clever arguments, he gives the waming that “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (I Cor.i.25).
There is no doubt that man needs this revelation from God. Without His help man would wander hopelessly in a fog of error, sinking slowly into the darkness of immorality. We have but to look at the sections of the world which know nothing of God’s revelation to see this. In regard to the higher truths of the spirit, and to truths of morals and conduct, the most foolish and wrong ideas have been and are taught.
Even the most popular and famous of philosophers have fallen into these mistakes. They have attracted their great crowds of followers for a time, and then gradually they are forgotten as the weakness of their teaching: is shown by bitter experience. So “true” is this human “wisdom” that the saying has arisen that “the truths of one generation are the errors of the next.”
That is why God spoke to man- to make sure that man could have the truth easily, surely, if he wanted it. And because God’s revelation does not concern itself with bodily and temporal things, but with spiritual and eternal things, the most important duty in any man’s life is to seek and examine it. Not his bodily well-being, but his eternal destiny depends upon it.
BY Rev. JOHN B. EBEL.
The Malayan Catholic Newsletter, August 13, 1950. page 3