Why have faith at all?

Humans are very curious beings, some of us a lot more than others but in the end we all want to know what is going on. I think that curiosity is what drives religion and faith. Most people want to know the reason why we are here, what is the meaning or purpose of life. I am extremely logical and could buy into the idea that there is no God and that we are all masters of our own destiny, but that is not an existence that excites me. While I can blame most of it on an upbringing in the church, it is still my personal choice and I have decided that the Catholic faith is the best for me.

I went to a Franciscan school that gave me some of the best education I could have asked for. Even though I did not actually graduate from there, I still feel part of that family in many ways. This weekend I heard one of the best sermons at church ever and the message was simple, evangelizing is not just about words but also actions. While not everyone can be a preacher, everyone can be a beacon of hope and happiness. Father Mark used a quote from St. Francis of Assisi and I was extremely proud to hear it,

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

Actions are louder than words, and so many people think that evangelizing is about standing in a corner and telling people that they are going to hell if they do not accept Jesus as their lord and savior. In reality, bringing the good news should not be just about that but also about bringing hope and kindness to others. That is what I think religion really has to offer.

When I go to church and I feel that the gospel is tailored just to me, but not in the sense that it is telling me I am not giving enough money, because it helps me cope with my every day life, I find true happiness from hearing the word. It is amazing how difficult life is at times, and having a place to get hope and understanding is excellent.

While some get strength from the concrete answer that there is no God and religion is actually a scam, I get a lot from going to Church. I think that having the ultimate and final answer is great, but more often than not I have found through life that what I was certain about was only a short sight. The older I get, the easier it is to have faith, not just because of the testimony I can give about God’s greatness, but because faith has helped me through some rough spots in life.

Is Technology Killing our Society?

Many of my friends hate small talk. I am not taking the word hate lightly either, they totally despise it. I have come to realize that I use it as a tool in business settings, but with my friends I prefer actual conversations.

I have recently started exchanging e-mails with an old school friend. Not just Chicago friend, but back when I lived in Colombia friend. He is a civil engineer and knows how to use technology, but he made me take a step back when instead of replying to an instant message from me he wrote another well put together e-mail. His first sentence saying that he does not like monosyllable responses… it really got my brain going.

In Colombia humor is used as the instrument of small talk. Instead of an empty how is the weather? are the Bears gonna suck again? Is it 100 years for the Cubs? How long will the Royals winning last? you get more colorful conversations but alas just as empty of true substance. I think chatting and texting is taking that to a whole new level.

A couple of my cousins have access to the internet and we “talk” in a semi regular basis. When I started to think about it, we have not had a conversation in years really, but we exchange pleasantries and from “how is the family” to “how is work” we move onto, “good.” Don’t get me wrong, thanks to chat I have full conversations with some friends that are a good distance away from me, but it is easy to go into a routine of canned phrases and monosyllables very easily.

I am not sure if I can blame small talk, but I can surely blame technology for making it so easy to “communicate” while not saying much. Much like what twitter does to some blogs. I like substance, conversation, stories, anecdotes… I think many chat programs already have bots with pre-programmed responses. I want to have more meaningful conversations. What do you guys think?