Sep. 20, 2016 National Catholic Reporter
I traveled to Europe as a young seminary student and had my first encounters with nonbelievers. They awakened a sense of the fragility of my faith with which I have been dealing all my life.
Having grown up Catholic, I was pretty sure of myself and had given little thought to people who struggled with faith or were not believers. These three encounters changed all that.
One was with a physics professor from a university in Texas who happened to be seated with a group of us at a dining table on the ship from Montreal to Le Havre. He described himself as an atheist, the first I had ever met, and during the six-day crossing, at which we sat in the same assigned places at the table, he argued against belief in God.
“Love is a function of the liver,” he pointed out. I wasn’t captivated with his argument but was impressed that he had the courage to reject faith and say it out loud. Continue Reading