“Ask a Priest: Why So Many Religions If There Is One God?”

Q: What is the purpose of having many religions if there is only one God? Also, is it wrong or unholy to listen to music with cussing and bad references? Recently there is this mixtape and the beat always gets me hyped but it’s talking about drugs and bad women. Finally, I am always striving to become greater but I’m not seeing how to keep my pride and ego from it. Can you be humble but be great at something like sports? If so, how? — because the whole point of sports is to beat your opponent. The question, I’m dying to get an answer to the God question — where is he, how do you find him? Why should I believe that it’s the truth, just because people say so? -A.P.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: A proper answer to your questions would require a book. But let me attempt some brief replies.

Why are there so many religions when there is only one God? Think of this way. If I ask a dozen people what they think of you, I might get 12 different answers. Is that because you are 12 people? No.

There is a mystery about relationships. People perceive you differently or see only one side of you – and they act accordingly. It’s a little like that with religion and God (although it is also a lot more complex than that).

Then there is music. Music can affect our spirit. We should do all things for the glory of God. Is rap music (or whatever hard-beat sound it is) lifting you up and helping you give glory to God? Maybe you should pray about it and see where the Holy Spirit is leading you.

Humility involves walking in the truth. You might be a great athlete. If that is the case, there is no denying it. But where did your athletic abilities come from? From God! So you should thank God for your abilities – they are his gift to you, and you should act accordingly. You should use your abilities to bring him glory.

And how do you find God? He is closer to you than you think. When you speak to him in your heart, he hears. And he dwells in a mysterious way in the people around you. Treat everyone well, and you will soon discover God everywhere. If you need more help, try taking a few of the online retreats at rcspirituality.org. I hope this helps.

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