Lyric inspiration for The Catalyst

By: Cynthia Butler

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech. Night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-3

     Walking home from a college class one sunny day I thought about what it would be like to discover the existence of God without having been taught it. As a member of an ancient tribe, perhaps, I would stand in awe at the edge of a cliff and look out on the sun shining over the valley and realize that there must be a creator. It was that same year at college, I believe, when I first heard of St. Thomas Aquinas’ defense of the existence of God. There are certain things in motion, he wrote, and everything that is in motion has been moved. If everything that moves has been moved by something else, there would be an infinite series of movers. He reasoned- as did Aristotle- that there must, therefore, be an unmoved mover, a first cause.
A Catalyst encourages a reaction and yet remains unconsumed by that reaction. Similarly, the unmoved mover was the first cause of all that is in existence. For order cannot come out of chaos on its own.

Lyric inspiration for His Ways

By: Alicia Motter-Vlahakos

First Samuel 16:7 says, [Yahweh] does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but [Yahweh] looks at the heart.     Scripture is replete with the reminder that man does not have the same perfect understanding that God has. Yet some would attempt to judge God and the decisions He makes. He incites both harsh critique and ecstatic praise through His “unfair” qualities. He is “unfair” in that He does not give us what we deserve, but gracious because He gives us so much more.

Examples of critique and praise for His dealings with man are found throughout Scripture but especially in Jesus’ teachings. The parable of the unmerciful servant, found in Matthew 18:2, reminds us that we are prone to think of ourselves and our entitlement more highly than we ought. The story shows that because God has forgiven our unbelievable huge debt of sin, we should accept His forgiveness and not attempt to hold the sins of others against them. Moreover, the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, in Matthew 20:1, emphasizes that however much we think we have earned from our good works, we should not be jealous of the blessings God wants to shower on, not only us, but others. He offers heaven, both to the long time, committed believers, and also to those with deathbed conversions. After all, He wants to bless us so much that He was willing to take our curses on the cross. He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9). In response to His generosity, let us join with Mary in praising Him: His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble (Luke 1:50-52). Let us praise God for His unfair and gracious ways, and let us thank God that His ways are not like our ways.