COMMENT (By a soul):
Since I began this blog, MaryRefugeOfHolyLove, in April 2015, I have built up quite a few resources and hyperlinks to help people who are searching for answers in their life journey. Primarily, for those who are seeking God and wondering if He really exists.
For a few years of my life, I used to be an atheist. I became an atheist in junior high school when I was exposed to the theory of evolution and due to lack of education in Catholicism–the faith that I was baptized into as an infant–I fell away very easily. However, being an atheist made me very depressed. Why? Because at the end of the existential road is nihilism and accepting that life is meaningless and pointless made me harbor suicidal thoughts. Really, it got quite hard to get out of the bed each morning and to desire to do anything productive, like attend college, have a career, marry, raise a family, etc.
So, one day, when I was 17 years old, I literally said to myself, either I believe there is a God, or I kill myself because there is no purpose for my existence. I had no joy in my life and always being a deep thinker my whole life, thinking that there was no purpose for my existence was that troubling for me.
So, then I told myself that I am going to start believing in God, because I have to believe that there is some purpose in my life, otherwise, I cannot exist anymore. I told myself that if there is a God, then I have to believe that He would not hide Himself from us, because I cannot accept that He would create us and then simply disappear without telling us about Himself. So, I said to myself, one of the religions in the world must be real, but if I do not find out which one, I will become Catholic by the age of 25 for lack of anything better. Because my parents are Catholic and they are happy together and I just want to be happy in life again.
And so, that began the great searching period in my life for God. I dappled in Eastern religions and New Age for awhile, but I was never quite satisfied with the logical foundations of these various religions. Then, as people who have read my conversion story know, in 2001, I broke my leg and during surgery, I encountered God in what was very similar to a near-death experience, etc.
My Conversion Story
Now, that supernatural experience should have brought me home immediately to the Catholic Church, but due to various circumstances, it was not until late December 2002, that I discovered the Catholic faith of my infant baptism. I was 3 months shy of my 25th birthday, because–surprise, surprise–God remembers promises like the one I made to myself at age 17. And yes, like so many Catholic conversion stories, it was the Blessed Mother who ultimately brought me back to the Catholic Church and I found Jesus. I am so eternally grateful.
And so, I know what it is like to be an atheist, an agnostic, and to be searching for God. So, in this blog post, I want to provide help for those who are struggling with those questions in their life, as well as help lukewarm Catholics. For me, I literally “read” myself back into Christianity. So, I want to share the books that helped me to understand Christianity, and in particular, Catholicism. These are good, hearty, well-researched, easy to read books–not some “fluffy” stuff that people make up a lot on the internet to support their arguments.
Firstly, I recommend these three books:
This is the Faith: A Complete Explanation of the Catholic Faith by Canon Francis Ripley
Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed
A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture by Scott Hahn
The reason that I recommend these three books is because even if you want to remain an atheist, it is important that you know about what Christianity really teaches and not by reading all the “fluff” that can exist on the internet. At least be informed about what you are truly rejecting. “This is the Faith” is the finest book that I know that teaches about the beliefs of Catholicism. “Theology and Sanity” is the finest book that I know to teach a layman the beauty, the logic and rationale behind Christianity. The Christian God is one of logic, order, and reason. And “A Father Who Keeps His Promises” is the finest book I know on how to read the Holy Bible. It was not until I read that book that I finally figured out how the Old and New Testaments are reconciled together.
Now, after reading those books, if you want to get serious about understanding Catholicism and science, then I recommend the three books on this blog page. The first book is about evolution and the Great Flood; the second book is about how rare life is in the universe by two agnostic scientists; and the third is the Catholic theology for the existence of extraterrestrials (aliens).
Creation – Genesis – Cosmology Book Recommendations
I also recommend watching this scientific documentary about the universe:
Review – Documentary – The Principle (2014) – By a soul
Now, I will say that I wish priests at the pulpit in Holy Mass spoke more about the supernatural. Many Catholics are starving for this information, because talking about God and how He is literally speaking to us today and that miracles really happen, would wake up people in the pews and bring people back to the Catholic Church. But, many homilies preached are boring and sterile. I have a blog post that I did in 2016 that I want to re-share with everyone:
Do You Believe in Miracles? A Book List
Reading about miracles excites people in their faith. Knowing that God continues to help people even today, is exciting to know. Seriously, if priests were to read these books and just for one year, preach about one miracle at every Sunday Mass, how many people would become animated each week. People would joyfully wonder to themselves, hmm, I wonder what miracle story dear Father is going to share with us today! Such stories stick in the minds of people and demonstrate God’s Great Love for us and the power of prayer.
Today, people feel no need to pray because they think that God does not listen to them and nothing will happen. But, if people knew that God really cares about them and He is simply waiting for them to ask Him and share their needs in prayer, this would make a noticeable change in the life of many parishes. I want to offer a challenge to my Catholic readers. Firstly, read all the miracle books on the list that I provided, then give the books to your parish priest and ask him to preach on a miracle at every Holy Mass for a year. That way, people can learn of God’s Love and care for them and the necessity of prayer to God.
For example, many people know that St. Patrick was a great saint of Ireland, but not many know why. It was because St. Patrick performed a resurrection miracle by the power of God. St. Patrick resurrected the drowned daughter and son of the pagan king, which then led to the entire pagan island converting to Catholicism. One of the books that I recommend recounts 400 resurrection miracles performed by the Saints. Priests could simply preach on the power of the Resurrection for a year and that would animate many people in the pews.
Now, let’s say that you are an atheist and you do not believe in miracles. Well, I am going to present to you in the remainder of this blog post, several miracles that are hard for an atheist to refute if he really delves into researching the history of them. Here are the miracles for you to consider.
Firstly, there are over 200 bodies of different Saints in the Catholic Church that are incorruptible. Incorruptible means that they have not decayed from natural causes.
On this blog page, are the “Top Ten” of such miracles of the Saints in the Catholic Church, which includes pretty good photos. One Saint is Blessed Imelda Lambertini, who died in 1333, and I would say that her body is remarkably preserved for being almost 700 years old! Another is Saint Silvan who died circa 350 and he looks great for being over 1600 years old!
Top Ten List Of Incorruptible Saints With Photos
Also, here is the blog post that I made for Pope John Paul II. He died on April 2, 2005 and when his body was exhumed in late April 2011 for his canonization, he was found incorruptible!
Video – The Finding of the Incorruptible Body of Pope John Paul II
Finally, here is an outside link that has extensive information on the miracle of incorruptibility uniquely found only in the Catholic Church along with photos.
Alright, perhaps, the incorruptible bodies are not enough to sway you on the Catholic faith. Well, how about the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe? The miraculous Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary was imprinted on a poor-quality cactus-cloth that should have deteriorated after 20 years. But, the cloth is almost 500 years old!
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Now, maybe you are still not convinced. Well, how about the many miraculous events contributed to Our Lady of Fatima?
Firstly, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, and gave several important prophecies. She accurately predicted that Russia would be in the ascendancy and would spread its errors around the world. This was 6 months BEFORE the Bolshevik revolution. At the time, Russia was under the reign of the czar and many of its people–peasants were starving, etc. Russia was technologically-backwards and no threat to the world. Also, Our Lady of Fatima accurately predicted the name of the pope who would reign during World War II if God’s conditions for peace were not met. In addition, the Blessed Mother prophesied a strange and unknown light would appear in the sky signaling the next world war. This truly happened during the night of January 25, 1938 when a crimson (blood-red) light was seen all over Europe and documented in the media.
Secondly, on the last day of the apparitions, October 13, 1917, a spectacular Miracle of the Sun was performed before 70,000 people. It was written up in all the secular newspapers at the time in Portugal, and was even mentioned abroad in the New York Post, etc. It even converted all the atheists that day who witnessed it.
Documentary – Our Lady Of Fatima (4-Part Videos)
Thirdly, there is the miracle of the Catholic Jesuits who miraculously survived the nuclear bomb of Hiroshima, along with their monastery intact, at the end of World War II. They were examined over 200 times by the U.S., German, and Japanese governments, and lived long, healthy lives with no evidence of any radiation in their bodies. They contributed their survival to their living the messages of Our Lady of Fatima. Here is a blog post with videos and more information:
Part Three – The Only Solution More Powerful Than A Nuclear Weapon – Our Lady of Fatima
Alright, maybe you need more convincing… How about Our Lady of Zeitoun, Egypt? Over 40 million people–including Jews, Christians, and Muslims, saw luminous apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary over the course of three years above a Coptic church at night during the 1960s. There are many videos of this event taking place in the Muslim world.
Our Lady Of Zeitoun (Egypt) – video and information
Our Lady of Zeitoun – many video clips and news articles
http://www.zeitun-eg.org/ (Click on “Zeitoun Gallery” for the videos)
Alright, perhaps, you desire a more “current” miracle to be convinced that God exists and especially, that we are in the End Times. Well, how about a live video clip of the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse? It was first shown on EuroNews, then picked up by MSN News and CNN. Millions of people saw a green spirit (ghost) on live video, although the news reporters did not realize what they were broadcasting when it happened. Here is a blog post along with the video and some related messages from Heaven.
A Warning Of Things To Come – Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse (Radical Islam) – Book of Revelation, Chapter 6, Verses 7-8
I know that as an atheist, it is hard to believe that God is real, because there is so much such “intellectualism” in the world that tries to prove otherwise. So, I will end with this video clip that is also challenging to refute. It is about the odds of the universe coming together by chance. God bless!
Video – Darwin was Right (3:10 minutes)