Written on Every Human Heart

Knowledge of God is written on every human heart. The Church teaches that we can know something about God through human reason alone. St. Paul, pointed out that even though the Gentiles were not taught the law that  “what the law requires is written on their hearts (Romans 2).

The Catechism notes that

In many ways, throughout history down to the present day, men have given expression to their quest for God in their religious beliefs and behavior: in their prayers, sacrifices, rituals, meditations, and so forth. These forms of religious expression, despite the ambiguities they often bring with them, are so universal that one may well call man a religious being…CCC#28

J.R.R Tolkien used similar reasoning when he convinced an atheist C.S Lewis that Christianity was true precisely because the existence of myths pointed to the reality that hunger for God is ingrained in every human being. Lewis became a Christian.

Every religion contains part of the truth.  Peter Kreeft, PhD.D., is a professor of philosophy at Boston College.  He has written a book on what Christians and Muslims can learn from each other (H/T Mark Shea): Between Allah & Jesus: What Christians Can Learn from Muslims

Excerpt:

Please ask yourself whether you would like others to judge Christianity based on the picture of it now being presented in the modern Western media. Then please remember the Golden Rule, and apply this to the picture of Islam presented by the same source.

Christianity and Islam have more in common than we might think. Read more here: http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=3746

I especially like this:

Great saints are never wimps. They are often made from great sinners: haters and persecutors like St. Paul, or passionate sex addicts like St. Augustine, or rich, spoiled, worldly fops like St. Francis, or even professional killers like St. Ignatius. Saints have to be tough as well as tender because saints are like Christ, and Christ was the toughest and the tenderest man who ever lived. If we have forgotten the toughness, then we have misunderstood the tenderness. It is a tough tenderness. How can we miss the toughness of the two greatest saints of the twentieth century, Mother Teresa and John Paul II? It is a distinctive toughness, a tender toughness. But it is a toughness.

I think it is very likely that the next St. Paul is now a Muslim, wanting only a new direction for his passion: toward rather than against Christianity. Or perhaps the new St. Paul is a Christian lacking only the passion of a Muslim to energize him, needing to be prodded to jealousy by a Muslim. If this book can help provoke that reaction, its existence is justified.

There is, perhaps, hope for me. Sometimes great Saints are made from great sinners. That is why St. Augustine is the other man in my life.  Hey, my husband has another woman, St. Catherine of Sienna. What’s good for the gander….

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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