The monsignor who went down to the Pole for the summer and got providentially stuck down there over Christmas talks about taking the pastoral initiative in Antarctica:
“However, most people did not darken the door of the chapel so I went out to see them. I made daily pastoral visits to their work sites and spoke with many. I was especially interested in their spiritual perspectives. Since most did not go to church, I wanted to know, “Why? What were they thinking about faith and religion?” I found out that typically it was not ill will per se, but rather that spiritual and religious questions rarely crossed their minds at all.
“When I asked them what they believed, most had vague notions about “some sort of God” or a kind of cosmic “force” but it was not of much concern to them. When I asked what they expected to happen to them after death, some spoke of a general notion of heaven and hell whereas others spoke of returning to a kind of cosmic energy. Few would be considered Christians and the vast majority had clearly done little, if any, thinking about some of the more fundamental human questions: Why am I here? How should I live my life? What will happen to me after I die? Is there a God?
“So my job, at least in part, was not only to try to be a loving presence, but also to raise basic spiritual questions. Many of them were very good at science, but had neglected a major portion of their human nature – the spiritual dimension. I corrected the often distorted notion that science and faith are in competition but, as several saints have said, “Any truth, no matter by whom it is spoken, is from the Holy Spirit.” They can, and should be, both people of science and people of faith.”
Via Deacon’s Bench.