I should have blogged on this days ago, but Catherine Deveny’s column in the Sept 3 edition of The Age (“Much to celebrate after 40 years on the roller-coaster of life”) struck a chord with me.
I am refering to her comment:
And the best thing I’ve ever done? Become an atheist.
Which is just like me – only I would have said
And the best thing I’ve ever done? Become a Catholic.
What? You don’t see the connection? Haven’t you learned yet that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, if they live long enough, will either end up an atheist or a Catholic? Catherine and I share the privilige of at least having ended up at one or the other of the final goals before shuttling of this mortal coil.
Of course, I am not saying it isn’t possible for one who has reached one extreme not to reach the other eventually, given that they live long enough. Oscillation is possible. Catherine may become a devout practicing Catholic once again before she dies. I firmly hope and pray that she does. Equally, I might end up an atheist… No, I agree. Not really in the realms of reality. But it could happen!
Regarding the dictum that everyone will end up either a Catholic or an Atheist if they live long enough: cf. Malcolm Muggeridge (who did live long enough), C.S. Lewis (who didn’t), and Oscar Wilde (who just made it). But on the other hand, God sometimes catches us as we are oscillating in the other direction, eg. Thomas Merton (who was leaning in odd directions towards the end after a very promising start) and Graham Green (did he still have faith when he died?).