• Do you believe in ghosts?

    3

    That’s not a trick question. But make sure you know what it’s asking.

    Do you believe that the spirits of the dead live on after their bodies expire, and can manifest themselves to the living?

    So if you think you’ve seen a ghost, that thought comes with a lot of baggage: that people have spirits, that spirits can exist outside the bodies in which they once thrived and after those physical forms are gone, and that they can take forms or do things which the living can see, hear, smell, touch, or otherwise sense.

    That’s a tall order in this day and age when seeing isn’t believing anymore without photographs, videos, if not verifiable, repeatable measurements. YouTube is full of footage purportedly of ghosts or the things they did. But show the still and moving pictures to a roomful of people, and you’ll get more than a few skeptics pooh-poohing them as fake, manipulated, or, at best, inconclusive.

    On the other hand, ask the spouse, daughter, son, or close friend of the deceased if he or she sensed the presence or received a message from the dearly departed, and you may get more than a few nods.

    Are they imagining things? All but the most insensitive would ask the bereaved that question, or probe the veracity of their ghostly experiences. Rather, we respect their grief and their bond with the loved one they lost.

    So we have two ways of believing: through external empirical evidence, and with the internal certainly of a person who saw, heard, and felt the dead. Objective proof and subjective conviction.

    It’s the same story with religion. There are doubting Thomases who demand to “see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side.” And there are others of whom the risen Jesus extolled: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

    When seeing isn’t believing
    The good news is, God welcomes both kinds of believers. That’s why Jesus didn’t just preach, but also restored seeing, hearing and walking, turned water into wine, fed the five thousand, walked on water, and brought the dead back to life.

    The Apostles and other saints through the centuries also worked wonders, and there have been apparitions of both Jesus and His Blessed Mother, from the vision that converted Saint Paul to the 1948 Marian manifestation near Lipa, affirmed last month by Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles as “supernatural in character” and “worthy of belief.” Plus other amazing phenomena like the incorruptible bodies of Catholic saints, and miracles of the Holy Eucharist and the holy images of Jesus and Mary.

    But if we think that visible wonders are all that faith needs, not so. For one thing, even the most painstakingly documented and validated miracle won’t convince everyone. Show friends and family the videos in the links below, and see whether it makes believers of them.

    The first compiles pictures of incorrupt corpses of saints, most of which are visible and venerated in churches across Europe {https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euRenlgddKc). The second shows the body of the popular Saint Padre Pio of Pieltrecina, exhumed in 2008 — four decades after his burial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U41bUGgW3j4).

    While the first video contends that the incorrupt bodies should make people believe in the God of Catholicism, many learned people assert that there is nothing divine in seemingly inexplicable events. Oxford scientist and militant atheist Richard Dawkins objects to calling anything “supernatural” and attributing it to God.

    He writes in his new book The Magic of Reality: “To say that something happened supernaturally is not just to say ‘We don’t understand it’ but to say ‘We will never understand it, so don’t even try.’ … There is absolutely no reason to believe that those things for which science does not yet have natural explanations will turn out to be of supernatural origin …”

    Plainly, those who believe that science alone can truthfully explain the universe, are requiring everything, even God, to fit into man’s understanding of the world as formulated by the scientific method. It’s the same with those of us who believe only what we can see.

    While God will show us some wonders that help affirm His existence and power, He will not dance to man’s what-you-see-is-what-you-think view of reality. Eventually, we have to adjust to God and His Truth, not the other way around. The Thomases must eventually believe even if they don’t see.

    Faith must lead to love
    But even beyond knowing God on His own terms, rather than subjecting Him to our own standards of apprehending truth, is the need to build a relationship with Him. That goes beyond cognitive knowledge and demands a heartfelt faith, trust, and hopefully love for the Almighty.

    To be sure, we have hard facts and events from which to begin our journey toward the Infinite. But ultimately, we are invited to first believe, and only then, begin to see truths invisible to the unbeliever.

    Like: The promptings of heaven in the everyday events on earth. The kind gifts and close calls, for which we thank our Father, His Son, Their Spirit, and the angels God sends to care for us. And the conviction in our hearts that our Creator is moving to bring forth His will on earth, for the good of His creatures, whether or not what He does can be scientifically explained.

    In short, we see because we believe. And that is a true blessing so many have lost in our age of mathematical certainty. To receive what really counts, we often have to stop counting, and just close our eyes and feel the breath of God. Amen.

    Share.
    loading...
    Loading...

    Please follow our commenting guidelines.

    3 Comments

    1. Amnata Pundit on

      A person’s ability to prove the existence of God does not automatically confer divine authenticity on his own religious beliefs. People can believe in God and yet subscribe to different teachings, so the real question is not “Does God exist?” but “What does God really say?” If the teachings one subscribes to are indeed God’s Word, and he embraces these sincerely as his lifestyle, then God will show Himself through that believer by way of his behavior and character as a person. Therefore you don’t have to go very far to look for God, all you have to do is look hard at yourself and ask, “Is God there?” Develop your own spirit means do not look for God outside of yourself.

    2. Our world is a world of true or false, of fact or fiction, of what is real or mythical. We should train our mind to draw the line betweens.Faith unlike science is blind acceptance, induced by feelings, without proof.

    3. Ten people believing does not mean that the ten people will agree on what they
      believe. Just ask Pinoys of metro-Manila about freedom of religion, Samson, illegal detention, traffic jam. Or just ask Grace Poe and Susan Roces.