Posted March 11, 2008
Without punctuation, many writings and utterances would be meaningless gobbledygook. As an example, try to make sense of this unpunctuated series of words: “That that is is that that is not is not is not that it it is.” But with proper punctuation added, those same words read: “That that is, is; that that is not, is not. Is not that it? It is.”
The human life, unpunctuated by faith, is meaningless-. In his book Believing, Eugene Kennedy states, “Faith is closely linked to a person … and related to his whole identity. There is no believing that does not involve the whole person. You cannot give a response of faith with only a part of your personality.”
Compare an agnostic’s experience of bereavement with that of a faith-filled individual who believes in an afterlife. Compare a faithless person’s reaction to an insult with that of a Christian with a stalwart faith that has learned to turn the other cheek. Compare a worldling’s frustration in sustaining intractable pain with the pain of a true believer, soothed by the loving acceptance of God’s will in suffering. Compare an atheist’s enjoy-it-while-you-can hedonism with the joy of the friend who attends the bridegroom with a joy that is “complete” (see John 3:29). Truly, only faith-punctuation can put real meaning into otherwise meaningless situations in life.
“One-Minute Meditations for Busy People” by Fr. John H. Hampsch, C.M.F.