For Advent – The Four First Things

Here is my latest article for National Catholic Register: to stand the Advent tradition on its head–not the four last things, but the four first things:

I’m thinking of the foundation principles, not just of the Catholic faith, but of everything that is. If you don’t have the foundations in place, when the tempest rages, the house will fall. And one of the problems with the Catholic Church today (and with our modern society) is that we have built on shaky foundations.

The world was without form and void, and God said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1). Therefore, the first of the first things is Light. I capitalize the word “Light” because we are talking about the Light of Lights; the source and beginning of all things is Light.

Physicists tell us that energy is simply Light in various different forms or expressions. Atheists like to point out what they consider foolish about the creation story in Genesis: “How can you believe this when Light is created first, but the sun, moon and stars that give the Light are only created on the fourth day?”

They have missed the theological point. They have been too literal and fundamentalistic about the text. Light is created first because there is a Source of Light that is greater than the sun, moon and stars. This is why the story of Genesis is echoed in the last book of the Bible, where we are told that in heaven there is no sun or moon because “The Lamb is the Light in the city of God.”

Read the whole article here.