Dancing With an Atheist

Nemsy Gubatan


It was around Christmas time and the last campus dance was announced by the Science Club of the University of the Philippines. I was a sophomore then, and a friend of mine convinced me to go. The club was noted for its member’s astuteness, snobbishness, and perhaps intellectual prowess. However, I did not feel that way because I just wanted to meet and dance with someone who could perhaps become a friend.


It was a lovely evening, and inside the dancing floor, I noticed that the lovely ladies were seated on one side of the room, and the “gents” were standing on the other side. The music came from a 45 RPM records stacked on a music player. I started eyeing the row of elegantly dressed young ladies when I spotted one who was attractive but somewhat reserved. I approached her and asked her for a dance and she complied.


Soon, I found out that she was a Philosophy major and that her dad was a Philosophy professor. I was somewhat impressed, but slightly intimidated. Then I learned that she was in the Dean’s list which meant that she was a scholar. Now, I felt awkward and started to probe into her favorite philosophers. She babbled some names like Plato, Descartes, and Nietzche. At this point I was stymied, but somehow I managed to blurt out, “But do you believe in God?”


She smiled and replied, “As my dad said, there is no God. It is all an illusion. I was stunned by her reply, I had never encountered and atheist before. I remember meeting an agnostic in the previous year, but now, I suddenly realized that I was dancing with an atheist. I felt somewhat uneasy, and a cold shiver came over my spine.


Note that at the time, I was just a “baby Christian”, ignorant of evangelization or witnessing for Christ. I was just an ordinary college student trying to get a degree. So there she was in front of me, the charming philosopher and astute atheist waiting for a confirmation or rebuttal from me. Thank God, before I could open my mouth, the music stopped. Then, like a gentleman, I ushered her back to her seat and simply said, “Thank you for the dance.”


Looking back, and knowing what I know now, I would have asked her if she had a Jewish mind or a Greek mind. If she had a Jewish mind, I would surmise that she would be looking for “signs” ... like the omnipotence of God, or the unlimited power of God. Why? Because as St. Paul said, Jews demanded signs. Or, if she had a Greek mind, she would be looking for wisdom as St. Paul had observed. Of course at the time, I could not give my dancing atheist partner either “signs” or wisdom.


Today, we as Christians have the cross of Christ as our predominant sign and source of wisdom. St. Paul tells us that the cross of Christ is foolishness to those who are headed for ruin, but for those who believe, it is the power of God. Indeed, for agnostics, atheist and non-believers, the cross would be absurd. It would be foolishness to them and would be a stumbling block. But for us, for all believers, the cross is the power of God. It is the powerful sign of our redemption in Christ. It is also the sign of God’s infinite mercy and forgiveness for all people. As such, the cross of Christ and his very person, is our great hope. And this hope is ushered in by his humble birth in Bethlehem. Because of this great hope, we proclaim: 


“Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus come!!!”


Have a blessed and great Christmas day ever mindful of Jesus' unwavering and unstoppable love for you. Be grateful, be humble, and be deeply in love with Him. Best of all, give your heart and your life to Him on Christmas day, especially your heart. This would be your special and personal gift to Him. 

     

 Love is just such a game changer for sure and it will pervade the universe in due time. It is such a positive force beyond the boundaries of the whole universe. So how do you then try to utilize this powerful force of the universe to change the conditions of our world?

Simply by the grace of God try to know the nature of this force,later to discover that the nature of this for is ... BEYOND MEASURE.  

Heavenly Admonitions

by Agnes Kioskli

"Behave like Jesus. Always answer with love and the power of truth."   Pope Francis


Powerful admonition by a humble and spiritual Pope. Truly  a man of God, a man in love with God.

To be like Jesus, and to live love and truth is an honorable calling. A vocation. Knowing this truth should make us happy.



 


 Next Issue:  March 1 or  every 1st and 15th of each month.



"Love is unselfishly choosing for another's highest good."   C.S. Lewis


Looking after our brothers and sisters in need  and  their spiritual well being  are fundamental to our inner  joy  and   happiness.


Nonetheless, we must always begin with  our family and love ones. From there we can reach out to others. This attitude of charity can bring us peace and happiness.


My Lenten Journey

By Agnes M. Kioskli


It seems to me that we just celebrated Christmas yesterday!

And now  I am  walking with Jesus in the desert.


I was taught that during Lenten Season,  we offer sacrifices, prayers , alms giving etc. to God to accompany His Son Jesus during these forty days.


I started my Lenten Journey, by going to confession.  I go to the doctor when I am sick! Likewise, I also need my spiritual healing so I can restore my relationship with God, by going to confession. After my spiritual cleansing, then I am ready to  walk with Jesus and perform special acts of offering , starting with little things.


Yes, and I would do these things with joyful heart filled with joy and love.

My favorite St. Therese of the Little Flower started with little offerings with so much love for God; and because of her little ways, God has showered her with abundant blessings and love. Therefore:

By attending daily mass, and the reception of the sacred Body and Blood of Christ,  is the highest form of prayer I can offer to God, because it is during this time when I can really feel the presence of God in my life.


Loving my neighbors as I love myself,  though it is hard to do, is something that I can practice each day and offer it to God. Or even just offering a prayer to those I do not like much!


You and I can also follow Christ in our own ways by offering even the littlest things that we do each day for God. A smile, a comforting word,  can make a difference in someone's life most especially to God whose love for us is beyond measure. Whatever we do to the least of our brethren, we do it unto Him!


May we all have a blessed Lenten Journey and grace-filled heart full of of joy and love.



Note: Be sure to open "Seal it With a Smile" as shown above and Prayer of Petition