Dreams without God
Most of us have heard the saying, at some time in our lives, that we should “follow our dreams.” A lyric in the Disney movie Cinderella goes: “Have faith in your dreams and someday… If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) wrote “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”
This is normally sound advice. But what if the dream is evil or delusional? Karl Marx dreamt of a classless “workers’ paradise” where there would be “equality.” It’s estimated that at least 100 million people have died as a result of Communists trying to create this “paradise.” Ares Velouchiotes, a Greek Communist who was asked in 1945 why his army lost, said, “We didn’t kill enough people…. Blood has to be spilled if what you are aiming for is the perfectibility of the human race.” A further paradox is that after the Communist coup in Russia, Lenin lived in a mansion that had been “nationalized” aka “stolen” from a noblewoman. Lenin, Stalin and Mao ate well, while their policies caused millions of their people to starve to death. In Cuba, Castro died with a net worth estimated at $900 million. In the “classless society,” Communists become the privileged and ruling class. Still, like insects drawn toward a bug light, many have a fatal attraction to Marxist ideas. They “keep on believing.”
Hitler dreamed of a socialist utopia, an expanded Germany, dominated by the “master race,” in which he would forbid smoking, make vegetarianism compulsory, and revive the “Cimbrian art of knitting.” Seven million died.
In the early 1900’s, many in the United States dreamt that access to contraception and sex-education would decrease the number of “unwanted pregnancies.” In 1952, before their programs were put into effect in the schools, 1.9% of births in Minnesota were, in the language of the time, “illegitimate.” Now, about 32.5% of births in Minnesota are to “unmarried mothers,” a 1600% increase! This excludes the thousands aborted each year. Do educators now admit that religiously based self-mastery was superior, and that they were wrong? No. They “have faith in their dreams”; they “keep on believing.”
The delusion that is common to all these dreamers is the belief that it’s possible to create a just world without God. They believe that by omitting God, they are facing reality, but, as Frank Sheed says in his book Theology for Beginners: “If we omit God, we do not see anything as it is, but as it is not…” That reality is, as Warren Carroll put it many years ago: “Truth exists; the Incarnation happened.” Joseph Pearce has written that J.R.R. Tolkien told C.S. Lewis “Christ is the true myth at the very heart of history and the very root of reality.”
The truth is that Heaven exists. Unlike some dreams on Earth, which are unattainable because they are illusory or because we lack the endowments or means to attain them, the dream of Paradise, eternal life with God and all the saints, is a reality and a possibility for even the greatest sinner. God loves us and wants us to share eternal life with Him if we but demonstrate our desire. We have been told how to do this: “If you love Me, keep My Commandments.” (John 14:15) “Repent and believe the Good News.” (Mark 1:15) “Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) “Let the little children come to me.” (Mark 10:14) “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31) Pray. (1 Thes 5:17) Forgive. (Mat 6:14-15) Receive the sacraments. (John 6:53) Practice the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. (Mat 5:3-10) Heed the guidance of the Church He established. (Mat 16:18) Expect to suffer: “Rejoice on that day and exult, for behold your reward is great in Heaven.”(Luke 6:23)
St. Michael Broadcasting exists to help each of us reach the homecoming God has prepared for us. We hope our programs prove a resource. We ask you to please support the station through prayer, by telling others, by placing program guides in your parish’s information rack, and a financial contribution if possible. We also need volunteers: especially someone to help with videography and editing and someone to help market/promote the station.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam