Why are we religious beings

  • Italiano
don benzi

Two-and-a-half-year children show for the first time their need to relate to infinity and depend on it. This need will always be present, in the entire span of human existence. At the age of four, they ask their first questions about human behavior, which become increasingly frequent afterwards, until the discovery of God who is the answer to them. At the age of ten, begins the abandonment of religious practice, which culminates in adolescence. Yet all teenagers, especially in puberty, have a clear and precise, and strong intuition of the existence of God.

Sixty percent of them reject and delete that experience – mystical – of God right away. They deny it, and excuse themselves saying that they were wrong and this experience cannot be true. Thirty percent replace the intuition they have had and the short experience they have lived with surrogates. Ten percent transform this intuition into the starting point they will never abandon in their life.

They say Man is a rational being. It is true, but we should be more specific about it: when he wants it. What we can say with certainty is that Man is a religious being, even when he does not want to. The religious need is structural in humans. Any action in his favor that ignores this fact is not effective, nor decisive.

We have enough light to stand on our feet and enough darkness to keep seeking and suffering. Just enough darkness to fascinate teenagers and creates the inner condition suitable to receive God’s self-revelation. Everything speaks of him: a teenager’s friend is he who helps her/him to decode the messages given by God, initiating him to dialogue, admiration, deep questions, discussion, and submission to God.

The inexplicable harmony of the opposites and the cloud of unknowing fascinate teenagers, because they illuminate the darkness, which gradually becomes light. Rational and mathematical demonstrations serve only if they make the mystery even more mysterious and offer a certain and rational basis, which helps to further immerse oneself in mystery.

“You are a mysterious God.” Perhaps the psalmist did not know that this statement fascinates teenagers. Mystery is the gateway into the heart of God. The meeting between the teenager and the Lord does not take place on a level of theorems, equations, and syllogisms, but on a person-to-person level, on the level of limit and no limit, on the level of the elusive, of the comprehensible and incomprehensible, clarity and mystery.

Einstein said that “in the universe there is a superior intelligence, compared to which, the thoughts and intelligence of all men of all times are absolutely nothing. The apparent disorder is infinite order; my purpose in life is to partake in a crumb of that infinite light”. The man who has not discovered the meaning of life does not know how to live and is even dangerous.

Taken from the Honor Your Son and Your Daughter, ed. Sempre

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