Saturday, March 7, 2009

Do You Believe?

I've heard it said that the greatest deception that Satan perpetrates on humanity, is convincing it that he does not exist.

I think God's greatest Truth, and perhaps His greatest challenge, is convincing us that He DOES exist, in the Eucharist.

A Fox News poll reported in 2004 that 71% of Americans believe in "the devil." I guess that's not so bad considering Satan and his demons work tirelessly against us. Of course, belief in the devil's existence doesn't necessarily translate to belief in what he's all about. I suspect a lot of these folks picture the devil as a hapless Elmer Fudd in a red little-devil suit with a rubber pitchfork and fake horns, rather than a fallen archangel who hates God and whose ultimate goal is to turn us against Him.

Now for the not-so-good news. The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, at Georgetown University, reports that only 57% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence. And since only 24% of Americans are Catholic, I suppose that works out to only about 14% of Americans believe in the Real Presence. Ouch.

Ironically, Satan desperately would like us to forget both him and God; and God both desires fervently that we believe and turn to him through the Source and Summit of our faith, and that we recognize the danger of the devil in our lives.

Kneeling during Mass, we recite the words that profoundly express this faith: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but ONLY SAY THE WORD and I shall be healed."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Nothing ... Except Three Books.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells is one of my favorite books. This weekend I had the chance to watch the 1960 film version of the book. While the film started out promising, it moved steadily away from the book's story line and ended up a Hollywood love story. It was entirely unfortunate, but somewhat understandable. While the story makes a great book, it may not have the right qualities to make it big screen hit (not saying that’s a bad thing).

I do think a very disturbing parallel could be drawn between the Eloi and the Morlocks and certain elements in our society – but that’s another post.

In my opinion, the most interesting moment in the whole movie (which isn't found in the book) occurred at the very end. George, the inventor of the time machine, had left again for the future, this time to try and help humanity rebuild. George’s good friend David and George’s house keeper had just realized what George had done and had the following conversation:

David: It's not like Geogre to return empty handed. To try to rebuild civilization without a plan. He must have taken something with him.
House keeper: Nothing ... (turning to look at the book shelf) ... except three books.
David: Which three books?
House keeper: I don't know, is it important?
David: Oh, I suppose not. Only ... which three books whould have you taken?

After the conversation, the two paused and glanced slightly at the camera as if directing the question to the viewer (nice effect). And that’s where they left it - no supplied answers, just rolling credits. In my opinion it was a great way to end the movie. I thought it was a very interesting question and have spent the weekend thinking about it and haven't been able to come up with my "big three".

So, besides the classic How to Rebuild Human Civilization or Tastes Like Chicken: An Eloi-free Diet for the Busy Morlock, which three books would you bring along if you were ever needed to travel to the future and rebuild human civilization?