Raising my hand. Questioning. Wondering. Pondering. Connecting dots.
These are things I do — all the time. I’m always wondering why. Just ask my family: it drives them nuts. Just ask my students: they’ll probably roll their eyes.
By nature I’m a very inquisitive person, and have been since I was a small child. My fun was dismantling toys just to figure out how they worked, and then putting them back together. I did that with a snow globe when I was 3. It involved a hammer. You can imagine how that worked out.
Despite some of the scrapes it has gotten me into, I’ve realized that my inquisitive nature is what has brought me to the Lord. As long as I can remember I’ve wanted to know why Jesus said this or that in the Gospels, or why the Church teaches something often so contrary to the world surrounding it. For me, my joy is seemingly complete in knowing why.
One of the keys for me to search for answers to the ultimate why questions was to study the faith more in-depth — as a theology student at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. There my inquisitive mind began to love soaking up truth as a sponge. And this desire to learn about the Faith hasn’t stopped. Although now I’m a high school theology teacher, I’ll never stop being a student.
Raising your hand to ask a question is an admission that you don’t have the answer. But as Catholics, we recognize that none of us has the answers on our own. After all, we follow the Lord Jesus, who has identified himself as “the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). The Church safeguards the truth of revelation, enduring through the generations as its custodian. While it’s intellectually humbling to admit you don’t have all the answers, it’s wisdom to know where to go and find them. St. Peter summed this up best when he said: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn 6:68).
And at The Catholic Answer, that’s what we do well: point readers to the truth of Jesus. Based in Scripture and Tradition, we provide doctrinally developed and relevant answers to the questions Catholics are asking about our faith. It’s so fitting and such a joy for me now to journey with a readership who also raises their hands and asks questions about the things that matter.
Raise your hand and let us know what yours are. Keep the questions coming at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael R. Heinlein is editor of OSV’s The Catholic Answer. A graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., he resides in Indiana where he teaches high school theology. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @HeinleinMichael.