"his words were interpreted, recorded and translated"

Dear Father,

I'm a confused below average catholic going through some trying times of my life. I chance upon your website while browsing through the topic of reincarnation....

If this is a marriage made by heaven, and that god is almighty then why is it that I'm "fated" to meet and briefly reunited with my 1st love? Is this God's some funny way of retribution or some funny grand master plan? If marriage is so sacred, why would he test me (ok I failed), or even willed it?

If he's such a infinitely powerful and wise god, he could just make things happen and not gave me the freewill, thus saving everyone from the pain of cause and effect.

Since his words were interpreted, recorded and translated ( I guess it has been thousands times ) by normal human beings subjected to all the lowly human imperfections then the Bible surely is fallible, then how can I believe it and live on it apart from bread?



Dear More,

Your email has been in my inbox for quite a while. I do not know if I can address all the questions, but let me try a couple.

Although the last question (about accuracy of Bible text) appears the most complex, it is actually the easiest. There is a science call textual criticism, which Catholics and Protestants, conservatives and liberals all participate in. It examines ancient biblical manuscripts, compares any variations and has criteria for determining the most accurate text. We have more manuscripts for the Bible than any other ancient literature (over 4000 as compared to only 7 for Plato) and they are earlier (some go back to 50-100 years after the originals as compared for example to Caesar's Gallic Wars, 950 years removed from original). There is fairly broad agreement on which manuscripts most accurately reflect the Greek and Hebrew originals - although there is still room for much ongoing study. See: http://www.bible.ca/eo/ca/ca_06.htm (a Protestant source) for an outline of New Testament manuscript attestation.

I wish the other questions were as easily answered. They involve the great mysteries of God's omnipotence, mercy, justice, foreknowledge - and man's freedom. God could have made a world where puppies and dolphins were the highest animals, but he did not. He created us as well. In doing so he gave us gifts which we could use - or abuse - in ways no other animal could. As your letter indicates, we have by and large, misused God's gifts and do not deserve to be called his children. However (this is the really remarkable part) God did not say, "well, you have made your own bed, now sleep in it." He gives you and me a new chance to put things right - in Jesus, not our own power. I urge you to take that opportunity. It might not be there tomorrow. There may not be any tomorrow. Do you see what I am saying, More? Altho it seems so attractive, do not bet your life on reincarnation.

About the specifics of your situation, I cannot answer. You have to take your wife and son to God in prayer. God has entrusted them to you. Each of us must embrace the cross Jesus places before us - with the help of God's grace, which is the only way we can make it thru even a single day. I may be preaching more to myself than you, but I hope it has something for you.

My prayers, More. God bless,

Fr. Bloom

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