It’s All Greek to Me

Lauren - Coral Gables, Florida
Entered on March 31, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe the ancient Greeks had the answers.

Yes, the Greeks are known as inventors, inventors of geometry, democracy, Stoicism, and so forth. But I also believe their greatest contribution was that they provided answers about the world around them through mythology.

A volcano erupted—The Greeks concluded that it must have been the home of Hephaestus, god of fire. At a time of suffering and hate, the Greeks reasoned a woman by the name of Pandora opened a box that let out all the evils of the world that caused this. A ten year war broke out that resulted in thousands of casualties and a lost civilization—how did the Greeks justify this? They believed that it all started with one golden apple, and the rest is history, (or rather, mythology, if you want to get specific).

The Greeks had answers. Concrete answers. And what do we have? The opposite of concrete.

I am Catholic. I have gone to Catholic schools since the age of three. I go to Mass almost every Sunday, have gone through all the sacraments of initiation, and have learned my catechism from Carmelite nuns. Never have I gotten one concrete answer as to we why we suffer, why we die, why we feel the way we feel. Not once.

A friend of my sister had a mother who died of breast cancer the week after his sixth birthday. This woman was the only girlfriend and high school sweetheart of his father. My adopted cousin had to witness the attempted suicide of his biological mother and separation of his half-sister. I don’t understand why this has happened to them. They never did anything wrong, never deserved any of this punishment.

I don’t want to give off the impression that I am an atheist or even an agnostic, because I’m not. I am human, is all, and all humans have their doubts. It´s hard to truly believe in something you don´t understand. Even as a kid, I would want to know details about everything, why the movie ended the way it did, why a single beam of light would turn into a myriad of colors at times, how two cells could form a baby. At least those questions had a specific “text-book” answer. But there’s no text book for Catholicism that quenches that thirst for the answers that are really important to everyone.

So maybe I’m just the type of person that likes to know the facts about everything, (I’m an aspiring journalist; being nosy is one of the requisites). But I guess, after really thinking about it, maybe it’s God’s plan for us not to know. “Blessed are they who haven’t seen but still believe” exclaims Jesus according to the Gospel of John 20:29. Life seems to take us on a journey in which we don’t know the destination. It’s up to people like me who want everything in order to sit back, enjoy the ride, and have enough faith to trust in God that final stop will have been well worth believing in.

If that’s the case, then maybe the Greeks had the answers that would satisfy everyone for the time being, but not necessarily the right ones. Then again, maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know, but sometimes I think that this religion is just all Greek to me.