even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened."
"Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man-and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:20-23, NKJV)
The campaign from American Atheists is calling us to celebrate reason as though it was an end in itself, but it is not. The capacity for logical, rational, and analytic thought, which we call reason, is a means to an end. It is joined to the work of the Holy Spirit to bring about the grace of faith.
"What moves us to believe is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in the light of our natural reason: we believe 'because of the authority of God himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.' So 'that the submission of our faith might nevertheless be in accordance with reason, God willed that external proofs of his Revelation should be joined to the internal helps of the Holy Spirit.' Thus the miracles of Christ and the saints, prophecies, the Church's growth and holiness, and her fruitfulness and stability 'are the most certain signs of divine Revelation, adapted to the intelligence of all'; they are 'motives of credibility' (motiva credibilitatis), which show that the assent of faith is 'by no means a blind impulse of the mind.'" (CCC, 156)
When reason is not allowed exposure to immediate truths and first principles that extend beyond the grasp of man's immediate knowledge alone, we have, as St. Thomas Aquinas would call it, "a defect of the intellect." In today's world of technology, we would describe it as insufficient data. The end result, according to Aquinas, is sin.
Celebrate reason? No thank you. Celebrate with reason? Absolutely! For an authentic quest will lead us to the One who is the Reason for the Season.
Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online (http://virginia.catholic.org). He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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