Now in my eighties, in the twilight of my years, I ask myself what I have done with my life.  From unlikely beginnings in Kogarah, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, I find it difficult or at least surprising to recognize where I am today (literally, in my beach-house in S-W France !), what I have done, what I own, what I think and believe, and above all the family my wife and I created.  What I have become is light-years from what I could have expected – had I ever attempted the equivalent of the projection the Beatles made in their early twenties (“When I’m Sixty-Four”), back at the end of my High School education at Marist Brothers Kogarah, when I was … fifteen !

Our personal future, fortunately, is the Great Unknown ( “you wouldn’t want to know”, as they say at Randwick Racecourse).  While some things are foreseeable,  others are more than improbable (like my becoming – had I remained a priest – Pope Frank the First, or what in fact I became when I abandoned the priesthood).  The one certitude about our personal future is that it will end in death.  But life itself will one day disappear, along with the solar system, when the Sun implodes five billion years from now, if we have not succeeded in destroying life on our planet long before then.  I find it hard to believe in a God who would have set a time-limit not only to our personal but collective existence.  What sort of a God do believers believe in ?

People who buy “I.D.”, “Intelligent Design”, apparently have little trouble with this.  But I wonder whether they would really want to spend eternity in the presence of such a divine despot, not to say mythical maniac, who from the beginning supposedly planned such an Armageddon, such an Apocalypse.  They waste their time and their lives believing and promulgating such nonsense.  It is a pity I have to waste mine in exposing their credulity.

RIDENDA      RELIGIO

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