The Cementing Material: Faith
And what will put all these components- steel, gravel, sand and pebbles- together? The cement. This we liken to faith in God.You do not need to be “religious” for you to acknowledge the existence of God and your total dependence on Him, the source and end of all your actions.
Look at the preamble of the Philippine Constitution, a secular law which is the backbone of the whole judiciary system of our country. It talks about “imploring the aid of Almighty God.” The same thing is true with the Constitution of the United States which talks about the equality of men under one God.
Now one could see, a little bit more than before, people who call themselves atheists. That is just but one product of a hedonistic and materialistic environment that we now have in our society. This is because God is diametrically opposed to hedonism and materialism. He is a pure spirit, i.e., not bound by the limits of sensual pleasures and material goods.
There is a God and we could not possibly explain Him using natural science as a sole tool. As a man of science, I find it amusing when people confuse science with faith- when they say that there is conflict between the two. The object of natural science is material things even if they are not seen with one’s bare eyes. The object of faith is God who is a pure spirit, i.e., immaterial, one that is not made of parts. Air is invisible but material. Thanks to the advent of gas chromatography that allows us to examine the material components of air. But what is spiritual is both invisible and immaterial. And God is like that. That is why it is arrogant for a scientist to conclude, out of his own study of natural science, that there is no God because God is beyond the scope of mere scientific study. Science pursues the truth in material beings which could never be in conflict with God who is Truth Himself.
So there is a God. In fact, it is more difficult to prove that there is no God than to prove that there is a God. There are even ways of proving the existence of God using natural reason alone but this is not the scope of this book. God exists even if you sincerely believe that he does not exist- you are just sincerely wrong.
Why is this important? I mentioned at the start of this chapter that a minor digression from our path towards the Ultimate End when one is young may not be noticeable. Not so when you project several years hence. And that Ultimate End, which is the basis for the minor and apparent ends that we have in this life, is God. That Ultimate End is not worth attainable if it is less than God.
If you do not believe in God as the Supreme Being, you will start creating your own god. By his very nature, man is ‚religious. “Religion” comes from two Latin words, ”re” and “ligare”, which when combined could mean “to bind oneself.” If we do not “bind” ourselves to the Supreme Being, we will bind ourselves to other lesser beings- a person, an ideology or even to ourselves. We always “bind” ourselves to someone or to something. We are not hanging on thin air. Hence, it is but uplifting to one’s human nature to bind oneself to Him who is the Supreme Being, He who is, God, the fullness of truth and fullness of good. This is important because the effective orientation of our whole life depends on our acceptance of God.
Faith grows like any other virtue. That is why it is good to devote time to go deep in our knowledge of God through study and acts of piety. Thus completes the components of the foundation that we want to build: we work with competence based on firm virtues and anchored on a living faith in God.