Here is my latest article for National Catholic Register in which I explain what I mean by the Romance of Religion and why it is so important for us to live out our faith stories.
The story of my grandfather’s death has passed into our family history. I explain that this story works on us like a present-day myth. All the themes of the great stories are there in our own family’s faith story. Grandpa’s heroic self-sacrifice, his simple faith and fortitude in the face of suffering, his triumphant reward at glimpsing glory just before his death and the consolation his vision brought to his widow and our family all work together to have a powerful, inspiring and cleansing effect in our lives.
We enter into the story, and as we experience the fear and grief, we participate also in the transaction of faith.
What most people mean when they say a story is a myth is that it is simply untrue. The popular use of the word “myth” is that the story is bogus and, therefore, worthless. A myth, however, is not just a make-believe story; it is a story that works on us in a profound way. A myth engages us in an emotional response that opens the deepest parts of our lives to truths that cannot be experienced any other way.