By John Hubbuch
Although I was raised Catholic, like many people the study of history, biology, physics and geology has severely eroded my faith over the years. Christian and/or Catholic basics like the divinity of Christ, the immaculate conception, transsubstantiation and life everlasting seem to me almost as unlikely as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
Yet recently I saw the movie Of Gods and Men which reminded me of the power of faith. This French film based on a true story details the last year of seven monks living in a small monastery in late 1990's Algeria. These men lead simple lives helping the poor. They become caught in a struggle between an oppressive government and radical Muslims. Presented with a choice of leaving the country and continuing to do God's work, they stay knowing that to do so puts their very lives at risk. The portrayal of these seven men bound together by a shared vision and belief is powerful testimony to the power of faith.
Coincidetally, I received an invitation to attend the celebration for one of my cousins , who after a long journey of study and preparation had become a deacon in the Catholic Church. I suspect that he like me has been exposed to science and secularism, and yet had decided to become a man of faith.
Now I am well aware that certain scientists try to make the case that science and religion can coexist. Maybe, but I doubt it. My admiration for Jeff and the Algerian monks is not for their intellectual nimbleness, but for their full embrace of a life of faith.