Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 1:
We attain truth by our intelligence, not by our feelings. You feel that religion is unreal. That notion must be tested by evidence. To hold it you must say that the proofs for the unreality of revealed religion are stronger than the proofs in its favor. This means that you must be able to prove that God did not reveal, or that He did, but does not know what He says; or else that He does know, but deliberately deceived us. You cannot prove any of these things. Your only argument is that you cannot fully understand some of the things He has revealed. That argument would be valid if the human reason had infinite capacity, and could expect to understand everything. But facts prove that reason is limited in capacity, and that many truths, even natural truths baffle it. "I do not understand, therefore I do not believe it," is an argument which no reasonable man would utter. "I can disprove it, therefore I do not believe it," is lawful argument.
That is a most extravagant assertion. It is true that we are material beings as regards our bodily frame. But we are not merely material. Our flesh and blood cannot think. But we have intelligence also, and we believe things with our mind, not with our flesh and blood. We cannot be expected to believe in things which our minds cannot conceive, but when you suggest that we cannot conceive things spiritual you hopelessly confuse your imagination which you possess in common with brute animals, and your reason which is proper to man. If you stood side by side with a horse, both sets of eyes could see chalk-marks on a blackboard. But in addition you would see an intelligible meaning in the writing which the animal could never discern. You have a higher and nobler faculty which is not merely material. As a matter of fact, you have disproved your assertion in writing it down. You have conceived ideas which you have committed to writing. Ideas are not material things. You cannot saw them up and burn them as so many logs of wood.
The fact that you cannot fully understand mysteries is due to the limited powers of the human intelligence. You accept many natural things as facts, though their nature is most mysterious. That is not unreasonable. If we know a mysterious fact by revelation it is just as reasonable to believe it. Moreover, if God does reveal that a certain thing is true, He has every right to demand that you believe it. No finite mind has the right to call God ignorant or untruthful.
He is interested in telling men the truth, and in asking them to pay Him the homage of their reason by the acceptance of that truth, thus acknowledging His infinite wisdom and veracity. Reasonable men know that the truth concerning the nature and operations of an infinite Being will baffle a finite mind to some extent. But they are not so foolish as to deny a truth declared by God merely because they do not fully grasp it.
It is wideawake reasonable obedience. Instead of being blind, a man must know that God has spoken. He must prove this by examining the evidence. Once he knows that God has spoken, reason demands the obedient acceptance of God's teaching, even though it be as mysterious as radium, instead of pitting fallible human guesswork against such teaching.
God has definitely given His revelation. It involves mystery because the human mind is finite. Are there no mysteries for you, who do not acknowledge the authority of priests? Would you tell me exactly how much radium there is in Arcturus per cubic yard? You are wrong, too, in your talk of pretence. No Catholic priest pretends anything in this matter. He admits that the mysteries revealed by God are as much mysteries for him as for the people he teaches. I am a Catholic priest, and I can assure you that if I found part of my equipment as a priest was to be the art of pretence I would have left the Catholic Church more quickly than I joined it. Nor has any priest the idea of boosting himself. He fulfills his obligation to teach the truths he was sent to teach by God.
It is not the function of Catholic priests. Some so-called priests of humanly manufactured religions have been professional dealers in the occult. The Catholic priest is a very different being. He does not pretend to fully comprehend mysteries himself. He rather explains that there are mysteries in God, and in God's work.
It demands a belief in certain historical events which cannot be accounted for save by the intervention of God.
God's revelation is for all men, and clear enough in itself for all men whether mechanics or theologians. And all who have been confronted by it will answer to God for their acceptance or rejection of it. Religion is not within the scope of your trade and should not be judged by the standards of your trade. In any case there are many mysterious things involved in your trade, if you were but aware of them. And miracles are facts, not phantoms.