“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Shadows may give us a little insight into the theological virtue of faith. In a shadow we have evidence of things unseen. Scientists use the observation of a shadow on the moon during an eclipse to begin a search for the substantive event causing the eclipse. In the photo of a person’s shadow we have evidence that something resembling a person blocked the sun’s light from hitting the ground directly. In both of these examples, if we desire to search for truth, we must freely give our entire intellect towards understanding the substance of the event we witnessed.
Freely giving one’s intellect to the search for truth means we must look at all potential theories for the substantive event we witnessed. Then we must objectively test the theories, and discard those proven false. At the end of our objective testing we will come up with a few questions which we may not be able to prove in any way with a scientific approach. Those remaining theories may need subjective testing to provide us the most reasonable answer to our question as to what was the substance of the event.
It is in the subjective analysis in which we will make observations of the world around us to form an opinion on what substantively occurred. The resulting final opinion will be our “best reasonable guess.” The decisions we make off that “best reasonable guess” becomes our guide for future actions or opinions in our lives.
If the scientist reviewing either of our events held back on their search for truth, and allowed a predisposition to properly evaluate and answer, they will not find the truth. No matter how hard the seeker tries, any supposition based on a falsehood cannot be true. This is why Thomas Aquinas says: “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
If we subject ourselves to the mission of discovering God’s will for our lives, we must give ourselves over to faith. We must submit our lives to totally seeking truth, discarding falsehood, and applying faith in our lives through charity. There will always be countering theories to the ones proposed by the Catholic Church for what constitutes a “good life” which will obtain for us eternal rewards. The subjective analysis of the shadows Saints of the church left on the earth says both objectively and subjectively their faith was well placed.
I will learn from their shadows, and keep my faith in Jesus Christ through the Church of the Apostles. I hope you will too.