In the short days after my visit to the monastery, a religious celebration for grapes and beginning the book The Red Tent, I came to fully realize my struggle with faith. To try and cease the thinking tornado that my mind was creating, circling the topics of religion, faith, morality and belief, I decided to watch a movie. The movie I chose, only rekindled my thoughts. The movie I decided to watch to take my mind of things was based on a novel by Dan Brown, “Angels and Demons” and I found a quote from a particular scene that spoke to me more deeply than I thought possible (it is only Hollywood after all).
Tom Hanks who plays Robert Langdon is requesting permission to the Holy Archive of the Vatican and in the process is questioned on his faith…
Camerlengo Patrick McKenna: Christianity's most sacred codices are in that archive. Given your recent entanglement with the church, there is a question I'd like to ask you first, here, in the office of His Holiness. Do you believe in God, sir?
Robert Langdon: Father, I simply believe that religion...
Camerlengo Patrick McKenna: I did not ask if you believe what man says about God. I asked if you believe in God.
Robert Langdon: I am an academic. My mind tells me I will never understand God.”
Camerlengo Patrick McKenna: And your heart?”
Robert Langdon: Tells me I am not meant too. Faith is a gift that I have yet to receive.
Born and raised an American Baptist in upstate New York, I have come to believe more in the power and good of people than a book of colorful stories written and strewn together by mostly men who are no longer living. My scientific education has also made me question my faith on a level that has left me mostly agnostic. It is hard for me to desert something that consumed much of my childhood and in which so many people believe and come to have faith.
I suppose until I personally receive the gift of faith, I will continue to search for answers…