I believe God, the creator, has revealed himself by bits throughout history, and then in a massive dose for one three-year period, when his self-knowledge, the Second Person of the Trinity, lived as a man at our level. God knew we were ready to understand and to make that happen, He came to us as a human and talked to us in words and did things that we could and should emulate and then to top it off, paid off the crushing debt we humans incurred, incur and will incur. I believe that God did this because He loves us, He is Love, and therefore there is a Third Person of this substance, God.

By the way, He is not that love that we humans with our tiny little minds and flawed natures understand, a kind of self gratification, fantasy fulfillment, cozy feeling of having interesting company. His love is the kind that wants us to be more than what we would be if we were just to run through our lives willy-nilly, doing whatever happened to came naturally, whatever tripped our triggers. If only we will let Him, He will help us to become much more.

I believe in a life after death, which if spent with God, is by definition, heaven. I also believe in hell, an eternity spent without God. I think I lived a taste of that over the last 25 years, as an atheist and a law to myself.

I believe in free will, a gift from God, the gift that creates the possibility for us to grow bigger, be ennobled, shoot for what we cannot do and attain it. But the same gift, abused or worse, left unused, debases us, makes us worse than creatures without free will. We misuse free will at the cost of suffering to other human beings and ourselves.

I believe in a God who not only created the universe and some other invisible (to us) stuff, but in a God who is beyond our abilities to imagine, one who is infinitely larger than our brain's capacity to comprehend, larger than our eye's ability to see, our ears to hearů.You get the picture (I mean, you don't). I believe in those wild promises about the resurrection of the dead, the glorified body and the unimaginable beauty, which, eternally regarded, is burning ecstasy.

And here is what I do not believe:

I do not believe that we are all God. I do not believe that God is in our mind. I do not believe that the universe and everything in it is God. I do not believe that God is our cosmic mother. I do not believe that we all have received personal and differing revelations about what constitutes acceptable behavior and eternal truth

Psychologists know that humans tend to rationalize their actions in order to make them seem right. And so I believe that to think that long-standing moral traditions are no longer applicable in 2001, (or in the 1980s, or the 1990s, or the 21st Century, or pick an epoch) is to delude oneself and to take another step along the wide, easy, overwhelmingly popular path that leads away from God.

I no longer believe that I know better than the thousands of saints, hundreds of popes, and millions of bishops, priests, nuns, monks and theologians who have helped articulate church doctrine. Imagine the arrogance of one such mediocre intelligence as myself believing that in the spare moments of her dissolute life she has been able to come up with a better determination of morality and God's will than all these people who have devoted their lives and long hours of prayer to the task. That I could ever have done this is reason enough to know that I don't deserve the Love that God has nonetheless shown me.