Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Investigate to Find the 'Invisible' Things in Life ; Faith Matters

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Investigate to Find the 'Invisible' Things in Life ; Faith Matters

Article excerpt

FATHER JOHN FLYNN, CHAPLAIN, SALFORD UNIVERSITY THEY say that you can't hammer in a nail with the internet. For all the wizardry of the technical age, your computer is never going to put up that shelf.

Or for that matter, do the ironing, make your tea or take the kids to school.

Some things just don't go together. Like chalk and cheese, or a Red and a Blue. Internet and real world.

Okay, you can do the odd bit of online shopping, or get those Peter Kay (woo-hoo!) tickets, while checking out the next train from Piccadilly.

But when you shut down the screen, switch to 'sleep' or the power just runs out because you've left your charger at home, reality bites again: the internet ain't going to put the dinner in the oven.

Or so I thought. The other day I read an article (online, as it happens) about a quiet revolution 'the internet of things'. The experts say that the internet is fast becoming the means to making things visible that have previously been invisible.

You want to control the heating while you are out? Or count how many steps you take in a day? You can now do it for yourself, over the internet. Even switch on the oven.

Making the invisible visible. That's quite a trick. But not as bizarre as it might sound.

It occurred to me that this is the point of religion. As this Faith Matters column takes on life, we should ask ourselves that fundamental question: Why am I even here? It is not as if we can 'see' the answer. That is because the answer is, at least initially, invisible. We won't ever look in a big dusty book and find there the answer to the meaning of life.

And yet - and yet - countless millions have searched for that meaning since the year dot.

Assuming that religious believers are not mad (and I don't think I am nuts), there must be a reason for their search for that meaning.

Each of us, whether we believe or not, have a deep desire for happiness, for connectivity with others, for peace, for justice.

I say 'deep' because all of us can find these things in a superficial way. Take Piccadilly Gardens on a Friday night: people are wanting happiness, but it often ends only in tears and vomit. …

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