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Non-Catholics Sectn.: Atheists/Agnostics/Non-Christians

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Non-Catholics Section:

Atheists / Agnostics / Non-Christians

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Do You Not Believe in God?

Do You Wonder if There Really is a God?

Do You Think Religion is Unimportant?

Do You Believe it is of Little Consequence Whether or Not You "Find God" Before Your Death?

Do You Wish to Remain Ignorant of God?

Do You Think Religion is Just a "Crutch" For the Weak?

Do You Believe God Has Not Revealed Himself or Cannot be Known by Humans?

Why Should You Be Christian?



Do You Not Believe in God?


* If there is no God, how do you suppose you got here?

* Do you also reject the concept of love since you can't see it?

* Were you to happen upon a fully functioning automobile in the middle of a field, would you assume the vehicle created itself and got there by itself? Wouldn't you think someone who thought such a thing was crazy? Do you not realize that your body is far more complicated than any car ever could be? 

* Were you to happen upon a beautiful, marvelous painting, would you assume it simply painted itself? If not, how then can you see the beauty in the universe and assume it simply "occurred" without a Creator? As one early Christian writer said, "If upon entering a home you saw that everything there was well-tended, neat and decorative, you would believe that some master was in charge of it, and that he was himself much superior to those good things. So too in the home of this world, when you see providence, order, and law in the heavens and on earth, believe that there is a Lord and Author of the universe, more beautiful than the stars themselves and the various parts of the whole world." [Minucius Felix (early Christian apologist), 3rd century A.D.]

* If there is no God, what do you believe the purpose of life is? Is everything simply an accident? Do you have any idea of the ridiculously impossible odds of such an "incredible accident" (were such even a possibility!)? If someone told you that you had a 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000... chance of winning the lottery, would you waste your money on a ticket? If you wouldn't waste a few dollars on a ticket because the odds are so bad, why do you risk your eternity on the silly notion that there is no God? 

* What makes you discount all the miracles associated with Christ? Did you know there are numerous miracles that cannot be sufficiently explained or replicated by any human being (e.g. Eucharistic Miracles, the Shroud of Turin, the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe, etc.)?

* If things in nature are shown to degrade over time, what exactly makes you think that things somehow "upgraded" in order to miraculously create you, without any design or plan?

* Are you taken in by the "evolution farce"? Do you know that this has been passed off as true despite the fact that there is no real scientific evidence of it and that scientific evidence has actually contradicted this theory? Did you know that those who propound this theory may have an agenda to make you not believe in God? Did you know that some of those involved in evolution theories have been discovered to have fraudulently manufactured "proof" of evolution?

* Why is it you are the one who wants "positive proof" of God's existence when everything points to this truth? - how about your trying to provide "positive proof" that God doesn't exist? - An impossible task!

* Could it be that you really don't want to believe in God because then things would be expected of you and you would be held accountable for your actions? If so, do you not realize that you already are going to be held accountable for your actions and that things are already expected of you? Certainly, God won't cease to exist because you don't believe in Him!

Closing Quotations...

"Alas! Poor unbeliever! He loves his darkness; he calls it light" (Dom Gueranger)

"If we do not believe God, whom then should be believe?" (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 389 A.D.)

"In truth, it is not because men believe in God that He exists; rather, because He exists do all men whose eyes are not deliberately closed to the truth believe in Him and pray to Him." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Redemptoris")

"It is a strange thing: I have met plenty of people who repented at not having loved God. Never have I met one who repented of having loved him." (St. John Vianney)

"For how could this Universe have come into being or been put together unless God has called it into existence, and held it together? For every one who sees a beautifully made lute, and considers the skill with which it has been fitted together and arranged, or who hears its melody, would think of none but the lutemaker, or the luteplayer, and would recur to him in mind, though he might not know him by sight. And thus to us also is manifest That which made and moves and preserves all created things, even though He be not comprehended by the mind." (St. Gregory Nazianzen, Doctor of the Church)

"Men who recognize no other law than that of the flesh may be as deaf and as indifferent as they please to the teachings of positive revelation; but mere matter will go on ever condemning their materialism. Nature, which they pretend to acknowledge as their only authority, will continue to preach it in every nook of the earth" (Liturgical Year)

"Is it true, then, proud man, that you can understand how the sun and stars were created; how the earth, with all its riches was called forth from chaos; how the magnet attracts iron; how a single grain of corn sown in the earth produce a thousand other grains? You are not ashamed to own that you cannot answer these things; and when there is question of things of a more sublime nature, of things that are above the comprehension of angels, you will not avow your ignorance - you make bold efforts to understand them. Fool! The shame is not the inability to comprehend them, but the daring to sound them." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"God, however, 'wills all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth', but not in such a way that He would take away their free choice, for the good or evil use of which it is most just that they be judged. This being the case, unbelievers certainly act contrary to God's will when they do not believe His gospel; but they do not thereby overcome His will, but only defraud themselves of the great, yes, the highest, good, while involving themselves in the evils of punishments, about to experience, as they are, the power to punish that belongs to Him whose mercy in His gifts they have despised." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 412 A.D.)

"Let us suppose that the existence of the universe is spontaneous. To what will you ascribe its order? If you like, we will grant even that. But to what then will you ascribe its preservation and its being maintained in the terms of its first existence? Something else, or is that also spontaneous? Surely to something other than chance! But what else can this be, except God? Thus reason, which is from God and is implanted in all of us, which is our first law and is participated in by all, leads us to God through the things we can see." (St. Gregory of Nazianz, Doctor of the Church, c. 380 A.D.)

"Man learns from two books: the universe, for the human study of the things created by God; and the Bible, for the study of God's superior will and truth. One belongs to reason, the other to faith. Between them there is no clash." (Pope Pius XII)

"Listen to the sermon preached to you by the flowers, the trees, the shrubs, the sky, and the whole world. Notice how they preach to you a sermon full of love, of praise of God, and how they invite you to glorify the sublimity of that sovereign Artist who has given them being." (St. Paul of the Cross)

"Mankind's belief in God is a rebuke to, and a condemnation of, the careless atheist. For it is the height of rashness or of pride to assume without investigation that so large a part of the race is giving credit to an illusion, for the existence of which no rational grounds can be assigned." {Msgr. R. Knox}

"Earth's beauty is the voice of the silent earth. You observe and see its beauty, its fertility, its energies. You see how it produces seed, how it often bears what was not sown. By your contemplation you put it to the question. Your scrutiny of the world is a form of questioning. When you have studied it in wonder and scanned it narrowly, when your search has revealed its mighty power, its dazzling beauty, its surpassing excellence, since it could not possess this excellence in itself and of itself, your mind straightway leaps to the thought that it could not have been self-caused, but is the handiwork of the Creator. What you have found in it, is its speech avowing that you should praise the Creator. After you have pondered in its entirety the beauty of this world of ours, does not its very charm with one voice make answer: 'I am not my own cause, God is my Maker'?" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"That our faith is true is rendered clear by so many evident proofs, so that he who does not embrace it must be regarded as a fool. The first proof of the truth of faith is found in the prophecies contained in the Holy Bible, which were written so many ages before the events, and afterwards punctually fulfilled... We have evident proofs of the truth of our faith in so many miracles wrought by Jesus Christ, through the apostles and other saints, in the presence of their very enemies, who, when they could not deny them, said that these prodigies were preformed by diabolical agency. But true miracles which surpass the power of nature, such as the raising of the dead to life, giving sight to the blind and the like, cannot be wrought by the devils... The constancy of the martyrs is also a very strong argument in favor of our faith. In the first ages of the Church, in the reign of the tyrants, there were many millions, and among them many tender virgins and children, who, rather than deny the faith of Jesus Christ, embraced with joy torments and death itself. Sulpicius Severus writes that, in the time of Diocletian, the martyrs presented themselves to their judges with a greater desire of martyrdom than that with which men of the world embrace the dignities and riches of this earth... The learned John Picus, Prince of Mirandola, was, then, right to exclaim: 'It is great folly not to believe the Gospel which the Apostles have proclaimed, which many saints and wise men have preached, which the blood of martyrs has cemented, which miracles, have proved, which reason confirms, which the elements and insensible creatures have announced, which the demons themselves are constrained to acknowledge; yes, it is folly not to receive a doctrine glorious with so many victories, radiant with so many crowns, laden with the spoils of all its enemies.'" (Muller) 

Do You Wonder if There Really is a God? 


* If you are sincerely seeking whether or not there is a God, do not neglect to pray. Ask God to give you the gift of faith. No matter what, don't give up asking for this gift, even if many years go by. 

* If you are sincerely seeking whether or not there is a God, take the time to reflect on the beauty of the created universe. Remember that it is a reflection of God.

* If you are sincerely seeking whether or not there is a God, consider reading about the great heroes of the Catholic Church, the saints. You may also want to investigate miracles in the Church, the beauty of her ancient liturgies, the wisdom of her Doctors, etc.

* If you are seeking the great gift of faith, do not expect to be given this gift if you are living a sinful lifestyle. Instead, repent for the sins you have committed and resolve to avoid sin in the future.

* If you are attempting to discover whether there is a God or not, do not fall into the trap of expecting God to perform certain miracles for you, pass your "tests", etc. Rather, seek Him with a humble heart. Be careful also not to consider every passing event or feeling as a "sign", since you may be easily misled. Remember that Christ - that is, God incarnate - has already come to earth and told people what He expects of them. He will not now come and steer persons in any other direction than that which he has already pointed out. To put it bluntly, the true God would never positively steer you in any other direction than the holy Catholic Church - the Church which Scripture calls Christ's "body". If you feel you are being pointed in any other direction, you may be certain that it is not of God. Why would God - truth Himself - point you towards error? Towards man-made religions, even if they call themselves 'Christian', especially since they are formally opposed to the one true Church that Christ established?

Do You Think Religion is Unimportant? 


* If God is man's Creator and He has revealed Himself to man, how can this be unimportant?

* How can it be unimportant whether or not one knows one's Father?

* There can be no true virtue without religion: "No true virtue can exist without religion" (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas Praestantissimum", 1888 A.D.)

* How can religion be unimportant considering that "Faith is the first condition required for salvation; it is the first link of our union with God" (Liturgical Year)?

* How can religion be unimportant considering that the very purpose of man's life is know, love, and serve God? "Man was created to praise and adore the Lord his God, and in serving Him to save himself. This is his end." (St. Ignatius Loyola)

* How can religion be unimportant considering that man cannot be truly happy without God. As St. Augustine has said...

"Thou didst create us, O Lord, for Thyself, and our heart is restless till it rest in Thee." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"There is no good capable of making any rational or intellectual creature happy except God." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church) 

* Do you know that your soul is immortal? This is true regardless of whether or not you believe it. God has also promised to reunite your body to your soul at the end of the world. If you have obeyed God, you will receive an eternal reward that will be so wonderful you cannot imagine it. If you have not obeyed God, you will receive an eternal punishment that will be worse than anything on this earth. How can you not consider the final outcome of your life to be unimportant? Do you realize that eternity means forever? Either you will enjoy happiness forever or be miserable forever. Your life on earth is less than a grain of sand by comparison to eternity! When you consider what is at stake, how can you consider religion to be unimportant?

In Closing...

"Nothing can satisfy one whom God does not satisfy." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"It is unquestionably the fundamental duty of man to orientate his person and his life towards God." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei")

"It is on this condition that we are made to exist: that we pay the debt of service justly owed to the God who makes us to exist, and that we recognize and follow only Him." {Lactantius, c. 304-310 A.D.}

"There are many people who exert greater care for their bodies than they do for their soul. But they should devote a greater solicitude for their soul, where the image of God is. When the flesh, which they have loved so much, begins to be devoured by worms in the grave, the soul is presented to God by the angels in heaven. Then, if it has been good, it is crowned; but if evil, it will be cast out into darkness." (St. Caesar of Arles)

"To embrace religion is a most serious duty, which is not to be restricted by age. No age is unfit for the kingdom of God." (Pope Leo XIII, "Quod Multum", 1886 A.D.)

"If you would be wise, recognize that you were created for God's glory and your own eternal salvation, that this is your end, this is the center of your soul, this the treasure of your heart. If you reach this end, you will be happy. If you fall short of it, you will be wretched." (St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church)

Do You Believe it is of Little Consequence Whether or Not You "Find God" Before Your Death? 


* Did you not know that faith is a requirement of salvation?

* Are you unaware that there are no second chances after death? Your entire eternity will be determined here on earth. If you have obeyed God, you will receive an eternal reward that will be so wonderful you cannot imagine it. If you have not obeyed God, you will receive an eternal punishment that will worse than anything on this earth. This is the case regardless of whether or not you believe it.

* Regardless of whether or not you believe in God, it will not change the truth. God has come to earth and revealed Himself. He has left instructions that must be followed in order to gain salvation. If you do not obey God, you will be miserable for all eternity. Remember that eternity never ends and that the misery of eternal damnation is unspeakable and worse than anything imaginable on earth.

* Do you suppose you can escape God? If you believe such folly, do you also believe you can escape death? No, there is no escaping God!

Closing Quotations...

"And Abraham said to the rich man, 'There is a great abyss separating us from you' they cannot come from you to us nor from us to you.' This shows that after death and resurrection there will be no repentance. Neither can the wicked repent and enter the kingdom, nor can the righteous any longer sin and go to perdition." (St. Aphraates, c. 336-345 A.D.)

"Although the sinner does not believe in Hell, he shall nevertheless go there if he has the misfortune to die in mortal sin - even though he neither believes in Hell or even things about it." (St. Anthony Mary Claret)

"It is up to you, while you are leading this life, to have God angry and an enemy or a friend who is pleased with you." (St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church) 

"If you travel without Him, you will not find Him at the end of your journey."

"The sole purpose of life in time is to gain merit for life in eternity." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"To the one who still remains in this world, no repentance is too late." (St. Cyprian of Carthage)

"And this is the crowning guilt of men, that they do not want to know Him of whim they cannot be ignorant." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 197 A.D.]

"I beseech you, brethren, let everyone who has sinned confess his sin while he is still in the world, while his confession is still admissible, while satisfaction and remission made through the priests are pleasing before the Lord." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 251 A.D.)

"All the preoccupation of men with the things of this life is but the game of children on the sands. For children take delight in the activity of their play and as soon as they have finished building what they build, their pleasure ends. For as soon as their labor is completed, the sand falls down and nothing is left of their buildings." (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

"What does ignorance of God beget us? Despair! A man who ponders all the evil he has done becomes anxious about himself. If he does not know how good and forgiving the Lord is, how willing to forgive and welcome him back, he falls into despair and becomes impenitent. He does not realize that Omnipotent Goodness could manage all his affairs, not wanting anyone to perish but that the sinner could be converted and live." (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

"See, you blind ones, you who are deceived by your enemies: by the flesh, the world, and the devil; because it is sweet to the body to commit sin and it is bitter for it to serve God; because all vices and sins come forth and proceed from the heart of man, as the Lord says in the Gospel (cf. Mk. 7:21). And you have nothing in this world or in [that world] to come. And you think you possess the vanities of this world for a while, but you are deceived, since the day and the hour will come to which you give no thought [that of which] you have no knowledge and [of which] you are ignorant. The body becomes sick, death approaches, and this man dies a bitter death. And no matter when or how a man dies in the guilt of sin without doing penance and satisfaction if he is able to perform satisfaction and does not, the devil snatches up his soul from his body with so much anguish and tribulation that no one can know it unless he has experienced it." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Say not that the end of the world is not yet come, and that the destinies of the human race are not filled up: it is not the world that is here in question, it is you individually. True the day of the Lord will be terrible, when this world shall be broken up as a vessel of clay...but, long before that day of universal terror, your own day of judgment will come. The inexorable Judge will come to you, you will stand before His face, you will have none to defend you, and the sentence He will pass will be eternal; and though the nature of that sentence, whether for or against you, will not be known to the rest of the world until the last and general judgment, still is this His coming to you, at your own judgment, terrible above measure. Remember, therefore, that what will make the terror of the last day so great is, that then you will be solemnly and publicly confirmed what was judged irrevocably, though secretly, between your own soul and her Judge; just as the favorable sentence, which the good receive at the happy moment of their death, will be repeated before the immense assembly of men and angels on the last day. Is it wise, then Christians, to put off your conversion, the plea of the day of the Lord not having come for ages, when it might be this night that your soul were required of you? The Lord is coming: lose no time; prepare to meet Him; a humble and contrite and converted heart is sure to find acceptance." (Dom Gueranger)

Do You Wish to Remain Ignorant of God?


* If you remain ignorant of God, do you somehow expect that lessens your guilt rather than increases it? To willfully remain ignorant is to increase, not decrease your guilt!

* Do you suppose that by being ignorant of God you are "off the hook" - that nothing will be expected of you or that you will not be held accountable for your actions? This is untrue! Things are already expected of you and you already are going to be held accountable for your actions!

* Are you afraid you have committed too many sins or that your sins are too grievous? If so, take courage! God can forgive all your sins, no matter how many or how grave! There is nothing that cannot be forgiven if you are sincerely repentant! Note: Click here for 'Can All Sin Be Forgiven?'

* Do you really want to turn your back on your rich inheritance in heaven and instead be God's enemy for all eternity?

* Do you really want to live the rest of your life without experiencing God's great love and mercy? To not know the peace of being a brother of Christ? Do you really want to reject the great love of God - your Father who loves you more than anyone else ever could? Your Father who chose to create you instead of an infinite number of other persons that He could have created?

Do You Think Religion is Just a "Crutch" For the Weak?


* If you were to see a beautiful oil painting and instantly perceive that it was drawn by an artist, would you also consider that belief be a 'crutch'? Would it not merely be an indisputable fact that no reasonable person would deny? If so, then how can you simply deny the order in the universe? Are you unaware of the great complexity of the human body? Are you blind to the great beauty and order of nature that proclaims its Creator? 

* How can the Christian religion be a crutch for the weak when all Christians are called to be 'Christian soldiers' - to give up their lives rather than deny their God? If Christianity is a crutch for the weak, why is it that the heroes of the faith are the ones who are killed - horribly, brutally killed? Furthermore, why do good Christians mortify themselves, giving up bodily pleasures, a spouse (e.g. remain celibate), etc.? Because it's easy? Can you not see that it takes a strong person to be a good Christian?

Do You Believe God Has Not Revealed Himself or Cannot be Known by Humans?


* How can you deny the fact that the coming of Christ - that is God incarnate - was prophesied many years before His birth? It is clearly impossible for a mere man to cause prophecies to be made about himself before he is ever born!

* How can you dispute the fact that God's revelation to humans contained many prophecies which were proven true? Is this not positive proof of the authenticity of God's revelation?

* How can you discount all the well-verified and scientifically unexplainable miraculous occurrences associated with Christ?

In Closing...

"Or does it seem to you to be in vain and of no consequence, and do you think it a small thing and no divine miracle that all mankind hastens to the name of one Crucified Man?" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"That before the taking of Jerusalem the Gospel was preached everywhere, hear what Paul says, Their sound is gone out into all the earth; and see himself traveling from Jerusalem into Spain. And if one had so large a province, think how much all must have done. Whence writing to certain [persons], he says of the Gospel, It bears fruit, and increases in every creature under heaven. And this is the strongest proof of Christ's power, that in thirty years or a little more, the word of the Gospel filled the ends of the world." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

Why Should You Be Christian? 


* Christ - that is, God incarnate - has testified to the need to follow Him in order to have eternal life.

* Christ's teachings help people to live happier, more fulfilled lives on earth (not to mention the happiness of heaven!). Remember that "religious beliefs necessarily have consequences - therefore the true faith will have the best consequences".

* Your loving Creator - who gave you life - has told you what is expected of you and you owe it to Him to obey His commands

* Christ offers you forgiveness of all your sins. As St. Gregory of Nyssa has said, "The person who turns to good is set free, even if his life is marred by a multitude of mistakes and the sum of his evil deeds seems like a thousand years. It is nothing as far as turning to God is concerned, for his eye always considers the present, not the past."

* By following Christ, you will become an adopted child of God and heir to heaven. "There can be no greater reward than that the earth-born sons of men should be made the sons of the Most High Who is in heaven." (St. Bede the Venerable, Doctor of the Church)

* One cannot be saved apart from Christ.

* Christ died for your salvation.

Note: Click here for 'Thinking About Becoming a Christian? Should You Become Catholic or Protestant?'

Closing Quotations...

"The Sacrificial Victim [Christ] was offered for all mankind, and was sufficient to save all; but it is believers alone who enjoy the bounty thereof." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 353 A.D.)

"The greatest of all misfortunes is never to have known Jesus Christ" (Pope Leo XIII, "Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus", 1900 A.D.)

"The sun is commanded to rise over all; and indeed, this sun does in fact rise daily over all. That mystical Sun of Justice, however, has risen for all, comes to all, suffered for all and rose again for all. He suffered so that He might take away the sin of the world. If, however, anyone does not believe in Christ, he but cheats himself of this general benefit." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 387 A.D.)

"If we do not believe God, whom then should be believe? For everything that we believe, we believe either through seeing or through hearing. Sight often errs, hearing demands belief. Or does it make a difference who it is that makes the assertion? If good men state something, we would think it wrong not to believe. God asserts, the Son proves." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 389 A.D.)

"It is rather ignorance than ill-will which keeps multitudes away from Jesus Christ. There are many who study humanity and the natural world; few who study the Son of God. The first step, then, is to substitute knowledge for ignorance, so that He may no longer be despised or rejected because He is unknown. We call for all Christians throughout the world to strive all they can to know their Redeemer as He really is. The more one contemplates Him with sincere and unprejudiced mind, the clearer does it become that there can be nothing more salutary than His law, more divine than His teaching." (Pope Leo XIII, "Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus", 1900 A.D.)

"And let them be convinced that nowhere, even on earth, can they find full happiness save with Him who, being rich, became poor for our sakes that through His poverty we might become rich, Who was poor and in labors from His youth, Who invited to Himself all that labor and are heavily burdened that He might refresh them fully in the love of His heart, and Who, lastly, without any respect for persons will require more of them to whom more has been given and 'will render to everyone according to his conduct.'" (Pope Piux XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931 A.D.)

"Christ Jesus our Lord, as no man who is or has been or ever will be whose nature will not have been assumed in Him, so there is, has been, or will be no man, for whom He has not suffered - although not all will be saved by the mystery of His passion. But because all are not redeemed by the mystery of His passion, He does not regard the greatness and the fullness of the price, but He regards the part of the unfaithful ones and those not believing in faith those things which He has worked through love [Gal. 5:6], because the drink of human safety, which has been prepared by our infirmity and by divine strength, has indeed in itself that it may be beneficial to all; but if it is not drunk, it does not heal." (Council of Quiersy, 853 A.D.)

"But if Christ came as the Preserver of the human race,' you say, 'why does He not, with equal kindness, free all without exception?' Well, does He not free all alike, when He calls all alike? Or does He repel and thrust anyone away from the supreme benevolence when He gives to all alike the power of coming to Him - to men of rank, to common folk, to slaves, to women and boys? 'The fountain of life,' He says, 'is open to all; nor is anyone turned away or denied the right to drink.' If you are so fastidious as to spurn the kindness of the offered gift - nay, if you are of such superior wisdom that you term what Christ offers ridiculous and absurd, why should He keep on inviting you, when it is but His part to expose the fruit of His bounty to your own free choice? Plato says that God is not the cause of any man's choosing his lot in life; nor can anyone's will be rightly imputed to another, since the freedom of will is placed within the power of the very one who wills." (Arnobius of Sicca, c. 305 A.D.)

"Do you not think that a keen interest for human welfare is shown, not only in this, that many philosophers maintain that neither earth nor fire nor aught else within the range of sense should be worshipped as God - the only path to whom lies through the mind - but in the fact that an untaught multitude of men and women in so many different nations makes profession of its belief in the same truth? Witness an abstinence from food contenting itself with a meager diet of bread and water, fast not for a day but continued through many days. Witness a chastity so perfect as to be indifferent to wedlock and offspring, an enduring patience that scorns crucifixion and the stake, liberality that divides fortunes among the poor, in short, a contempt so intense of everything worldly as even to yearn for death. Not many do these things, fewer are they that do them well and wisely; but whole peoples approve, applaud, favor, aye, love such conduct. Nor is it without a closer approach of the mind to God, not without some spark of virtue, that whole peoples avow themselves too feeble to mount so high. This marvel has Divine Providence wrought by the oracles of the prophets, by the Incarnation and teaching of Christ, by the journeys of the Apostles, by the affronts and crosses and life-blood and death of martyrs, by the saintly lives we boast, and in all this can be discerned miracles suited to the needs of the time and worthy of such achievements and such virtues. Seeing, then, as we do such marked assistance from God, so much progress and fruit, shall we hesitate to nestle in the bosom of that Church which, as the human race confesses, stands a pillar of authority derived from the Apostolic See whereon successive Bishops have sat enthroned, while the rebel cry of heresy has been condemned in part by the popular voice, in part by the judgment of Councils, in part too by the majestic utterance of miracles'?" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"[N]othing exists more definite, more settled or more holy than our faith, which rests on the strongest foundations. This faith, which teaches for life and points towards salvation, which casts out all vices and is the fruitful mother and nurse of the virtues, has been established by the birth, life, death, resurrection, wisdom, wonders and prophecies of Christ Jesus, its divine author and perfector! Shining forth in all directions with the light of teaching from on high and enriched with the treasures of heavenly wealth, this faith grew famed and notable by the foretellings of so many prophets, the lustre of so many miracles, the steadfastness of so many martyrs, and the glory of so many saints! It made known the saving laws of Christ and, gaining in strength daily even when it was most cruelly persecuted, it made its way over the whole world by land and sea, from the sun's rising to its setting, under the single standard of the Cross! The deceit of idols was cast down and the mist of errors was scattered. By the defeat of all kinds of enemies, this faith enlightened with divine knowledge all peoples, races and nations, no matter how barbarous and savage, or how different in character, morals, laws and ways of life. It brought them under the sweet yoke of Christ Himself by proclaiming peace and good tidings to all men! Now, surely all these events shine with such divine wisdom and power that anyone who considers them will easily understand that the Christian faith is the work of God. Human reason knows clearly from these striking and certain proofs that God is the author of this faith; therefore it is unable to advance further but should offer all obedience to this faith, casting aside completely every problem and hesitation." (Pipe Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.)


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