Reverence

It may be considered folly by common opinion but this refusal to destroy life unnecessarily, this reverence for it, must become a deeply implanted part of his ethical standard.

Scientific "facts" are taught at a very early age and in the very same manner in which religious "facts" were taught only a century ago. There is no attempt to waken the critical abilities of the pupil so that he may be able to see things in perspective. At the universities the situation is even worse, for indoctrination is here carried out in a much more systematic manner. Criticism is not entirely absent. Society, for example, and its institutions, are criticized most severely and often most unfairly... But science is excepted from the criticism. In society at large the judgment of the scientist is received with the same reverence as the judgment of bishops and cardinals was accepted not too long ago. The move towards "demythologization," for example, is largely motivated by the wish to avoid any clash between Christianity and scientific ideas. If such a clash occurs, then science is certainly right and Christianity wrong. Pursue this investigation further and you will see that science has now become as oppressive as the ideologies it had once to fight. Do not be misled by the fact that today hardly anyone gets killed for joining a scientific heresy. This has nothing to do with science. It has something to do with the general quality of our civilization. Heretics in science are still made to suffer from the most severe sanctions this relatively tolerant civilization has to offer.

One of the surest signs of the Philistine is his reverence for the superior tastes of those who put him down.

Commerce has set the mark of selfishness, The signet of its all-enslaving power, Upon a shining ore, and called it gold: Before whose image bow the vulgar great, The vainly rich, the miserable proud, The mob of peasants, nobles, priests, and kings, And with blind feelings reverence the power That grinds them to the dust of misery.

His consuming interest remains in the world of men, their institutions, their history, their passions. And because he is interested in men, nothing that men do can be altogether tedious...He will naturally be interested in the events that engage men’s ultimate beliefs, their moments of tragedy and grandeur and ecstasy. But he will also be fascinated by the commonplace, the everyday. He will know reverence, but this reverence will not prevent him from wanting to see and to understand. He may sometimes feel revulsion or contempt , but this will also not deter him from wanting to have his questions answered. ...in his quest for understanding, moves through the world of men without respect for the usual lines of demarcation. Nobility ad degradation, power and obscurity, intelligence and folly -- these are equally interesting to him, however unequal they may be in his personal values or tastes. This his questions may lead him to all possible levels of society, the best and least known places, the most respected and the most despised. ...he will find himself in all these places because his own questions have so taken possession of him that he has little choice but to seek for answers.

Rabbi Elazar ben Shammua used to say: “Let the honor of your student be as precious to you as your own; and the honor of your colleague as the respect due your teacher; and the respect towards your teacher as your reverence for G-d.”

The largest land animal is the elephant, and it is the nearest to man in intelligence: it understands the language of its country and obeys orders, remembers duties that it has been taught, is pleased by affection and by marks of honor, nay more it possesses virtues rare even in man, honesty, wisdom, justice, also respect for the stars and reverence for the sun and moon.

Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

Conclusion: What, then, is the importance of modern science for the argument for the existence of God based on the mutability of the cosmos? By means of exact and detailed research into the macrocosm and the microcosm, it has considerably broadened and deepened the empirical foundation on which this argument rests, and from which it concludes to the existence of an Ens a se, immutable by His very nature. It has, besides, followed the course and the direction of cosmic developments, and, just as it was able to get a glimpse of the term toward which these developments were inexorably leading, so also has it pointed to their beginning in time some five billion years ago. Thus, with that concreteness which is characteristic of physical proofs, it has confirmed the contingency of the universe and also the well-founded deduction as to the epoch when the cosmos came forth from the hands of the Creator. Hence, creation took place in time. Therefore, there is a Creator. Therefore, God exists! Although it is neither explicit nor complete, this is the reply we were awaiting from science, and which the present human generation is awaiting from it. It is a reply which bursts forth from nature and calm consideration of only one aspect of the universe; namely, its mutability. But this is already enough to make the entire human race, which is the peak and the rational expression of both the macrocosm and the microcosm, become conscious of its exalted Maker, realize that it belongs to Him in space and in time and then, falling on its knees before His sovereign majesty, begin to invoke His name: Rerum, Deus, tenax vigor,-Immotus in te permanens, -- Lucis diurnae tempora successibus determinans (Hymn for None). (A free English translation is: "O God, creation's secret force/Thyself unmoved, yet motion's source/Who from the morn till evening's ray/Through every change dost guide the day.") The knowledge of God as sole Creator, now shared by many modern scientists, is indeed, the extreme limit to which human reason can attain. Nevertheless, as you are well aware, it does not constitute the last frontier of truth. In harmonious cooperation, because all three are instruments of truth, like rays of the same sun, science, philosophy, and, with still greater reason, Revelation, contemplate the substance of this Creator whom science has met along its path unveil His outlines and point out His features. Revelation, above all, makes His presence, so to speak, immediate, vitalizing, and loving, like that presence of which either the simple faithful or the scientist is aware in his inner soul when he recites unhesitatingly the concise terms of the ancient Apostles' Creed: "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth." Today, after so many centuries which were centuries of civilization because they were centuries of religion, the need is not so much to reveal God for the first time as it is rather to recognize Him as a Father, reverence Him as a lawgiver, and fear Him as a Judge. If they would be saved, the nations must adore the Son, the loving Redeemer of mankind, and bow to the loving inspirations of the Spirit, the fruitful Sanctifier of souls. This persuasion, taking its remote inspiration from science, is crowned by Faith which, being ever more deeply rooted in the consciousness of the people, will truly be able to assure basic progress for the march of civilization. This is a vision of the whole, of the present as of the future, of matter as of the spirit, of time as of eternity, which, as it illuminates the mind, will spare to the men of today a long tempestuous night. It is that Faith which at this moment inspires Us to raise toward Him Whom we have just invoked as Vigor, Immotus, and Pater, a fervent prayer for all His children entrusted to Our care: Largire lumen vespere,-Quo vita nusquam decidat, (Hymn for None)-light for the life of time, light for the life of eternity.

Every man now worships gold, all other reverence being done away.

It was not at all the intention of the Jewish teachers and sages of old to teach the fear of God. Many of their utterances regarding the relationship between God and man have been greatly misunderstood and therefore misinterpreted. This misunderstanding has been due greatly to the dual meaning of the Hebrow word, "Yirah." "Yirah" means both to reverence and to fear. This word, employed numerous times throughout the Pentateuch with reference to man's attitude toward God, may lead to the translation of either, "Fear thy God," or, "Reverence thy God." It is clear that the translators of the Bible did not consider the significance of the latter meaning and its import upon both the ethics and the character of the race. To revere our God means that we are to look upon him as a Father, a Shepherd, to guide our steps and watch over our destiny ; it means that we are His children and His flock, that He has brought us into existence as an expression of His love. It means that the whole universe is an outflow of His love,and in response to His profound love, we revere His name. To say that God requests fear is to limit his powers, to lower Him to the level of an earthly king, who sways his people with the tyranny of fear. The true attributes of God are outlined in Exodus 34 :6, "The Lord, the Lord God is merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth."

Above the cloud with its shadow is the star with its light. Above all things reverence thyself.

Perfect knowledge is when you bind your mind to your heart so that you know in your heart that "HaShem is God." When you bring this knowledge into your heart, you will be filled with deep awe, fear and reverence of God and you will not sin.

Once the State has begun to function, and a large class finds its interest and its expression of power in maintaining the State, this ruling class may compel obedience from any uninterested minority. The State thus becomes an instrument by which the power of the whole herd is wielded for the benefit of a class. The rulers soon learn to capitalize the reverence which the State produces in the majority, and turn it into a general resistance towards a lessening of their privileges. The sanctity of the State becomes identified with the sanctity of the ruling class and the latter are permitted to remain in power under the impression that in obeying and serving them, we are obeying and serving society, the nation, the great collectivity of all of us.

We ought to reverence books; to look on them as useful and mighty things. If they are good and true, whether they are about religion, politics, farming, trade, law, or medicine, they are the message of Christ, the maker of all things -- the teacher of all truth.

In reverence will w speak of those who woo
The ear divine with clear and ready prayer;
And while their voices cleave the Sabbath air,
Know their bright thoughts are winging heavenward too.
Yet many a one,--"the latchet of whose shoe"
These might not loose--will often only dare
Lay some poor words between him and despair--
"Father, forgive! we know not what we do."

Motherhood and all the sentimentality that goes with Mother's Day was not congenial to the Greek mind. They were a remarkably unsentimental people; they had no particular reverence for children, nor did they regard them as a special and privileged portion of society. It would not have occurred to them to erect a vast temple to Mickey Mouse. They left that for us.

The Perils of Worship -

The life without reverence is barren and insensitive. And worship is the proper expression of reverence. The Sermon on the Mount leads to adoration, thanksgiving, and prayer as truly as it leads to acts of service. But there are perils in worship.

Some of the worship that goes on in our churches is merely lip service, talk takes the place of activity. True worship is the expression of the reverence of a human personality for his Lord and Creator. Reverence makes us eager to serve and obey. But false worship and lip service can be worse then open defiance.

The story is told of Mark Twain's encounter with a man who managed to combine the appearances of piety with a predatory career in business. "Before I die," said the hypocrite, "I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb to the top of Mount Sinai and read the Ten Commandments aloud." "I have a better idea," answered Mark Twain. "Why don't you stay right at home in Boston and keep them?"

After the warmth of the worship that says, "Lord, Lord," there is a chill in the words, "Do what I say." But if we do not meet the chill, the warmth is not the warmth of life. Bishop Gore ended his book, The Sermon on the Mount, by saying: "Many will come to him in that day with a record of their orthodoxy and of their observances, of their brilliant successes in his professed service; but he will protest unto them, 'I never knew you.' He 'knows' no man in whom he cannot recognize his own likeness." (The Sermon on the Mount by Charles Gore, p. 188. John Murray Ltd., London)

His own likeness? If we understand the Sermon on the Mount, we will never claim that. But if it sinks in, it does begin to remake us.

My heart craves to praise Thee,
But I am unable.
Would my understanding
Were as spacious as Solomon’s.
Without it my wisdom
As yet ill suffices
For expounding Thy wonders
And Thy deeds of beneficence
Wrought for me and all mankind.
Without Thee all’s hopeless,
And where is the rock
Sustaining, suspending
The weight of the world?
I am as one orphaned;
Nay, on Thee I am cast.
What then can I do
But look to Thee, wait on Thee,
In whose hand is the spirit
Of all that is living,
In whose hand is the breath
Of all the creation?

Personalities and fame pass; the revolution must remain.