God Has Been a Relentless Pursuer of My Heart
I just finished reading a book by Peter Hitchens, who's the brother of notorious atheist Christopher Hitchens. Peter is a believer, and he says he doesn't think any kind of intellectual argument will ever convince his brother about God's existence. If it happens, he thinks it will happen because Christopher is struck by some piece of poetry or art that transcends everything. Do you have any experiences in your life where art completely transcended any kind of intellectual arguments for faith and pointed you toward God?
Yeah, I do. I was 5 or 6 years old and I used to love The Sound of Music. It was my favorite movie. I remember being struck by a few things. One was the stained glass in the Reverend Mother's office. The other, aside from the music, was when Maria gets married -- the Church building, the nuns, the Bishop with his vestments on. (There was) the aesthetic beauty of it. I remember forwarding and rewinding and watching that scene over and over. There was something in me at that age, I thought, "I know God inspired that. I just know it." And they were Catholic in that movie! I was not raised in a pro-Catholic house, but I think I knew that, regardless of religious affiliation, those beautiful things in that movie were in some measure (inspired) by God.
I also know a guy I went through RCIA with who converted to Christianity from Judaism because of Mozart. Something like twenty years ago, he was at a record store and heard it playing over the loudspeakers. This lightning bolt hit for a second and he thought, "What kind of God inspires this kind of music?" That was the first beam of light that led to his conversion, and now he's a Catholic. It was such a crazy story because here you are with this guy who has this rich heritage but he wasn't practicing it. Then one day, he hears this piece of music and realizes God is watching him. So I would agree with that totally. There are a lot of people I know who argue that God doesn't exist. They have to be touched by something they can't explain because they can explain everything with their intellect. It makes sense to me that mystery would be the thing to convert someone who is brilliant like that.
Listen to Audrey's full interview and song clips at "Christopher Closeup." This excerpt is reprinted with permission.
Tony Rossi serves as host/producer of "Christopher Closeup," the radio show and podcast of. The Christophers, a Catholic non-profit that uses media to encourage people of all faiths to live gospel values.