May’s Theme – Theological Reflection

Theological questions are often the big questions we ask throughout our lives. What happens before I am born? Is there a soul? What happens after I die? Why am I here? Does my life matter? Why do bad things happen? Can I be forgiven for my mistakes (and by whom)?

These questions may have answers from different systems of knowledge: scientific, philosophical, ethical, sociological, and personal. A theological reflection on any question is an effort to bring into account all aspects of life. The theological question “Is there a God?” is vague and confining. I turn to scientist Carl Sagan for an example of theological reflection.

By far the best way I know to engage the religious sensibility, the sense of awe, is to look up on a clear night. I believe that it is very difficult to know who we are until we understand where and when we are. I think everyone in every culture has felt a sense of awe and wonder looking at the sky. This is reflected throughout the world in both science and religion. Thomas Carlyle said that wonder is the basis of worship. And Albert Einstein said, “I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research.” So if both Carlyle and Einstein could agree on something, it has a modest possibility of even being right.