The veneration of saints is a very old tradition in Christianity. Many Christians cannot imagine their religion without appealing to saints for guidance, protection, healing and intercession. Less concerned with theological correctness, people seek the company of saints out of loneliness, hardship, sickness, fear, guilt, or disappointment.
In The Simpsons episode entitled “Homer the Heretic,” Homer Simpson has a conversation with God.
Motto: "Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision." (Winston Churchill)
From my experience and the conversations I have had so far, I have found that there are two major categories of people who come to doubt the existence of God.
“...what matters is not the meaning of life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment...” (Viktor E. Frankl)
"This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger" (Luke 2:12).
For Carl Sagan, renowned astronomer and militant atheist, God's place in the universe was certain: "The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be." For Richard Dawkins, exponent of the "new wave" of atheism, true science is necessarily atheistic and materialistic. This paradigm dominates the scientific world today.
In a society with a pragmatic mindset, any kind of belief is subject only to practical judgments. Effectiveness, usefulness, and utility are the basic criteria by which actions, deeds or beliefs are valued.
There’s something lying on a massive table. It’s a huge picture. You move closer and see that the design is made up of individual pieces, like a jigsaw puzzle. But the pattern is unusual. It’s not an image you recognise, such as a Swiss mountain or a bouquet of tulips. As you focus on the details, you notice the pattern is constantly moving and changing in an almost imperceptible way.
Whether you're a practising believer, a casual believer or, conversely, an atheist, you cannot help but be taken aback by the fact that one of the earliest images of God we have in Scripture is an unexpected one for those times: the image of God writing (Exodus 31:18).
Their third wedding anniversary was just around the corner, but doctors had given Magda, belatedly diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a malignant bone tumour, no chance of recovery. Yet her husband Daniel continued to believe that God still had the last word.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” (Rudyard Kipling)
Undoubtedly, the best known of all Bible verses is John 3:16, but even this does not sound the same in its different renderings. One of these is a personalised version, sometimes employed in church settings: “For God so loved [insert your name here] that He gave His one and only Son, so that if [insert your name here] believes in Him, [insert your name here] shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Marquis Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749-1827), a mathematician and astronomer and one of history’s most influential scientists, once had a meeting with Napoleon Bonaparte. Laplace came to offer the first consul of the republic a copy of his book, “Traité de mécanique celeste” (Treatise on Celestial Mechanics)—an analysis of the solar system that expanded on Isaac Newton’s conclusions.