A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Demons and non-gods

Today’s first reading (Baruch 4:5-12, 27-29) condemns Israel for sacrifices to “demons, to no-gods.”

You provoked your Maker
with sacrifices to demons, to no-gods;
You forsook the Eternal God who nourished you...

This raises the politically incorrect idea that those who worship anything other than the God of Judaism and Christianity are actually worshipping demons.

The truth is that God is ever at work in the world and in the hearts of men: reaching out so that human beings may come to know, love and serve him. God’s action in the heart of man from the moment of creation underlies mankind’s natural religious instinct and all human religiosity arises from that instinct (even the forms and direction of that religiosity are not in accord with objective reality). Likewise, God reveals himself in the rest of his Creation, although not everyone may understand clearly this reality and its meaning. Humans are fallible and despite the gifts of God in creation and in the human heart, they too often go astray. Moreover, there are other forces at work besides human and divine action: some good, some evil.

Thus we respect sincere practitioners of other religions as human beings created by the true God with the instinct to seek their true Creator, even though they are fundamentally astray in varying respects. Thus we also affirm what is good and true in what people of other faiths say, even as we stand firmly for the fullness of the truth and the ultimate good and we fight against evil and falsehood in any kind of ideology or behavior.

Meanwhile, we should be mindful of how we ourselves may be worshipping things that are evil and false in our own lives, Christians though we may be: worshipping non-gods of materialism, addiction, and hedonism.

Come, let us worship the true and eternal God.