I’m a believer in the Almighty, in Heaven, in the Communion of Saints. I’m a Roman Catholic. I pray, carry and say the Rosary. I believe in the Resurrection and during Lent I recite the Stations of the Cross and often recite the Nicene Creed.
I look at the world and I see the hand of the Almighty. The reality we move in and have our being cannot be the product of random chance, some quark gone awry. If one subscribes to the Big Bang theory, whether the explosion that started evolution was of energy or material, atheists and agnostics cannot explain how it came to be.
To create is to make something from nothing and only God Almighty can do that, which is why people of faith also use the word Creator. I also believe God is Love and those that love are in God and God is in them. I further believe we each have a guardian angel, but few listen.
These musings are not prompted per se by the eminent arrival of Easter on April 1st. Rather, the passing in mid-March at 76 years of one of the world’s most intelligent individuals, Stephen Hawking, who despite an almost non-functioning body, nonetheless was able to triumph over his adversity to become an astrophysicist. Sadly, rather than thanking the Almighty for the blessing of his brilliant mind, his fame and notoriety he was an out and out atheist.
For him it was all chance, the swerve, the errant quark that started the ball rolling.
Why I have a strong faith life is a consequence not just of my gratitude for all my and my family’s considerable blessings, but also my escaping premature death at least nine times. Odds on this are astronomical, and I don’t believe there are coincidences
Look at this list:
1) When I was 4 I took off from our home in Kingston. I was wearing coveralls and I was found out on a limb overhanging Highway 10. I’d fallen but another limb caught the back of my coveralls so there I dangled.
2) When I was 10 I was going through a house nearby under construction. There was a board across the hole where they were starting a fireplace on the basement floor. I decided to swing on the board, it rolled and I fell into the basement hitting my head on the fireplace knocking myself out cold.
3) When I was 12 and riding my bike I started to cross a highway by riding down into the barrow pit and up the other side onto the highway, where unseeen by me came an auto speeding. I literally rolled backwards off my bike otherwise I would have been toast.
4) When I was 15 I was helping a great uncle open up an abandoned mine in the Yellowjacket country near the Big Horn Crags. There was a gyppo miner a half mile above us that had been working his claim for years and had a tunnel into the side of a mountain. I decided to check out the mine and started walking into the tunnel. I walked ever deeper and ever darker into the tunnel, but for some reason stopped and decided to go get a hard hat with a light so I could see where I was going. I returned with the lighted helmet and could see my tracks in the dust of the floor. My steps led right up to a shaft that was a good hundred feet deep. One more step and I would have been killed. What caused me to stop?
5) When I was 20 I was riding in a laundry truck outside of Pocatello headed for West Yellowstone to deliver new laundry and pick up the soiled. Bone tired I fell asleep and awoke just in time to see the pavement coming towards me as the truck rolled due to the driver collapsing. Get this, the seat I was sitting on,( a bench seat) was tossed from the truck but I remained in the cab. I did sustain a gash on the head from an inside wiper blade that required over 900 stitches. I have to tell you I never doubted I would be okay and I later recognized I’d been the recipient of the peace that passes understanding.
6) When I was 21, after finals at Columbia my roommate convinced me to have two drinks (a Singapore Sling and something else). I never drank until I discovered beer one hot summer day in D.C. We then went to someone’s apartment on the 16th floor of some building in Brooklyn. Feeling tipsy, hot and flushed I opened a window and sat on the window sill to cool off. Yup, I promptly fainted but rather than falling backward out the window to my death I fell forward.
7) When I was 25 and the press secretary to Governor Andrus I rode in an old stage coach that turned into a run away during a parade in Payette. The coach rolled but I emerged unscathed.
8) When I was 35 I was riding in first class on a Northwest jet that took a direct hit from lightining. It hit the plane immediately to my right and exited through the door to my left.
9) When I was 58 I was diagnosed with an incurable Stage IV neuroendocrine cancer and given six months. I’m not dead yet 13 years later thanks to the miracles of modern medicine and the power of the many prayers said on my behalf by family, friends and myself.
You bet I believe in the Almighty, Mr. Hawking. Here’s wishing all my readers that share a faith life a blessed and Joyful Easter. He lives.