Thursday, February 21, 2008

I found myself believing




"During this long stay in the hospital, I suffered a mild depression, and often when Caroline visited me I would, unaccountably, burst into tears. Father Howell, the Rector of Saint Chrysostom's Church, also visited me, and once when at my bedside he prayed for my recovery, I choked up and wept. The only prayer that I knew word for word was the Pater Noster. On that day and in the days after it, I found myself repeating the Lord's Prayer, again and again, and meaning every word of it. Quite suddenly, when I was awake one night, a light dawned on me, and I realized what had happened without my recognizing it clearly when first it happened. I had been seriously praying to God.

Here after many years of affirming God's existence [at a philosophical level] and trying to give adequate reasons for that affirmation, I found myself believing in God and praying to him. . . . With no audible voice accessible to me, I was saying voicelessly to myself, 'Dear God, yes, I do believe, not just in the God my reason so stoutly affirms, but the God to whom Father Howell is now praying, and on whose grace and love I now joyfully rely.'"

Mortimer J. Adler, A Second Look in the Rearview Mirror, pages 276-277.