Something which is preposterous is "contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous". Utterly is "carried to the utmost point or highest degree : absolute, total." So, when people say that something is utterly preposterous, they are actually saying that it is absolutely, absolutely absurd or ridiculous, not just absurd, and not even absolutely absurd, but absolutely, absolutely absurd. Now that's absurd.
Over at Yahoo answers Teresa K, two years ago, said this was utterly preposterous: "Organized religion in general, Christianity in particular. It's the greatest fairy tale ever to spread among people like an epidemic. I find it difficult to believe that rational, intelligent human beings can believe a young girl with a steady boyfriend just "happens" to get pregnant and claims it's a gift from God... gee, can I try that?"
Utterly Preposterous, you say Teresa. And so it is, with the filter of our present day world affairs, and with only the eyes of our own experiences to guide us. Yet, amazingly, people have been prepared to die for their Christian faith, and many more are prepared to kill, shout down, and otherwise diminish believers in Christ.
Over at Father Tim Moyle's blog Where the Rubber Hits the Road, the blog was recently high jacked by a band of marauding atheists, who for lack of cogent observations to make, hurled angry invective at the other commenters. 65 comments. Mostly banal.
But, Father Tim is a joy filled Christian, and Father Tim like some other men of the Roman collar, I call friends, walks in the belief in what others call utterly preposterous, the belief that the God of the Universe would send His Son down to earth to be born among us, to walk among us, to teach us, and to die for us, to reconcile us with Him. And to prove that He loved us, to rise again from that ignominious death to prove to us that there was hope beyond hope, love beyond love.
So, is it utterly preposterous that a young woman of 15 would conceive of a child through divine intervention, that she would give birth to him in a manger of all places, and that that young baby would grow up to one day allow himself to be murdered brutally for us and for our sins?
Or is it utterly preposterous to believe that out of nothingness came a Big Bang and suddenly the universe was created, and over millions and billions of years evolved into exactly what we see here and now?
We are free to choose which is the real impostor, which of these two mutually exclusive options is utterly preposterous. But, if all we use for our guide is our normal senses, our own personal knowledge base, or the ramblings of others, we have been deluded by the noises that surround us. To figure out which of these two is the impostor, requires a journey into our own heart, a place where the noise does not penetrate, but where love and truth live and reign. If we journey into our own hearts, we will find the truth, and the truth will set us free, free from all those burdens that weigh us down, hurts, traumas, sadnesses.
So, in this joyous season, let us suspend our disbelief for a time of reflection. Let us take that time to sit quietly, not ponder anything, not listen to anything external, to just invite the truth to speak to us.
As Father Tim prepared to celebrate the first of two vigil masses for Christmas, he wrote this essay on what this year of faith has meant to him.
Merry Christmas to one and all.