Exploring Faith

May 13 2014 | by

DEAR FRIAR RICK: On 6 February 2011, I attended a Holy Mass at St. Anthony’s Basilica in Padua. Here in Italy it was Pro-Life Day, and the celebrant blessed all couples present so that we could receive God’s help through our Saint. He blessed those of us who were expecting to have children, and also those couples who wanted children, but for some reason or other could not have them.

My husband and I were there out of desperation, for we belonged to the latter category. I had already had two miscarriages, and I was agonising over the decision on whether to conceive again or not. In June 2012 I finally gave birth to a healthy and beautiful male baby. The first days of the pregnancy were hard, but then everything went smoothly. I believe all this was a miracle. What is your opinion, Friar Rick?


I’m totally with you on it being a miracle. In fact with the birth of each of my nephews and niece I discovered the awesome reality of new life. I was blown away by the fact that those little persons shared with me some of the same DNA. As they have grown I have seen the traits we share, the same mannerisms, and yet how they are also distinct and unique persons. It’s indeed a miracle.

I am so happy with you that your prayers resulted in the birth of your child. What a blessing. But I also know of many good couples whose prayers were not answered in the same way. But God worked miracles in them nonetheless. I have witnessed couples who have not had children of their own become instruments of healing and hope for so many children through adoption. I know of many couples who, though not having children of their own, have through their marriage been a source of life, joy and service to the Christian community. My mind turns to one couple in Toronto who are some of the most loving, joyous and generous people I have known. Their marriage has nurtured more life around them than you can ever imagine. So whatever we face, if we trust in God, miracles do happen!



DEAR FRIAR RICK: In my Catholic years I was always told that God loves everyone. I say ‘Catholic years’ because now, at 25, I define myself as ‘agnostic’. I found Catholic teaching contradictory because I was told by my teachers that while all humans were created by God, only some ‘belonged’ to him. In essence, those who belonged to God were the ones who were ‘saved’. These were the children of God, whom God loved and cherished, while everyone else belonged to Satan. Now how can an all-loving God really favour only a small percentage of humanity, and damn all the rest, as the Church says? My mother, who is one of your faithful readers, suggested that I write to you.


Well I probably would join you in being agnostic if I believed that what you described was Church teaching. Thankfully, it’s not what the Church teaches. You know sometimes people with a little bit of education teach with the authority and infallibility that not even the Holy Father would presume to have.

All human beings are God’s children and cherished by God with the greatest love possible. St. Francis of Assisi reminds us that this is true not only of humans, but everything in creation is our brother and sister as we all share the same Creator. Salvation through Christ is extended to everyone. First and foremost to those who explicitly profess their faith in Christ. However, salvation in Christ is possible even for those who try and follow God as they know him. Even those who do not know God can be saved in Christ. The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church states: “Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.

No human being belongs to Satan. God does not damn anyone. Our damnation can only be the result of our deliberate and wilful decision to reject God and God’s plan for us. We can turn away from God, but God never turns away from us… God is pure love and mercy. I hope and pray that you will give your Church another chance. Come home!

Updated on October 06 2016