We love legends.  Children the world over are introduced to them before they can talk.  Recognizing the difference between fact and fiction is a much later acquisition.  Some people never succeed in making the distinction.

God, creation, miracles are all human inventions.  Sometimes the stories concern historical figures, like Jesus and Saint Francis, to whom imagination and tradition attribute all sorts of marvels.  Sometimes the stories concern people who never existed, pure fabrications of the human spirit.  “The mythological truth of a personage goes far beyond the problem of his historical existence.”  The author was talking about . . . King Arthur, of Holy Grail and Round Table fame.  But he could have been talking about God, the greatest, oldest and most widespread of the legends we love.

(The quotation is from Philippe Walter, Arthur, l’Ours et le Roi, Paris, Editions Imago.  Source : Sciences et Avenir, septembre, 2008, p.71.)

RIDENDA      RELIGIO