Happily Ever After: The Truth About Christianity

Christ on the Cross by Velazquez

Some things seem too good to be true. When you fall in love and the person returns your affection – that’s one of those things. Or maybe you win a great prize and this is your first reaction: Why it’s too good to be true!

And in many ways the Christian story falls under that heading as well. We believe that God loved the world so much that he took on human form and lived among ordinary people. He also did the one thing that most proves we love someone, which is dying for them.

Why, a child might say: “That’s too good to be true!”

But the Christian story is something that a human being could not possibly have invented. It is not only good, but also true. The revered Christian author C.S. Lewis said that one reason he believed in Christianity was that “It’s a religion you couldn’t have guessed.”

Lewis’ friend J.R.R. Tolkien, author of “The Lord of the Rings,” said fairy tales echo the Christian story. Such tales often feature maidens being saved by a prince, good triumphing over evil, and the promise of “living happily ever after.”

But, said Tolkien, Christianity differs from other myths in one essential feature. It is true.

Still, some might look at the world today and say, “Where is the happily ever after part?” Newspapers are flooded with reports of wars and terrible crimes. Blood is being shed all over the world.

At times it seems the dark forces are in control – or as Tolkien might put it, the Orcs are winning.

But for Christians the world never has the final word. Even if the one called the prince of the world–Satan — seems to be having a field day, he will ultimately be defeated. Even if we face what Tolkien called the “long defeat” — during which we lose everyone and everything–if we hold onto our faith, then we will triumph.

Christianity is inherently a mysterious religion, based on events the rational mind can’t grasp. God became man, a virgin gave birth, and Jesus rose from the dead. But the rational mind has clear limits. It cannot adequately explain love or mercy or devotion.

And in the words of another great writer, Flannery O’Connor, the central mystery of Christianity is that human life, despite all its horrors, was “found by God to be worth dying for.”

This is what sustains Christians in our daily battle against evil. This really is the deepest thing that we hold in our hearts. It’s the knowledge that God loved us enough to die for us. And this is an eternal truth that is exquisitely good.

Lorraine’s latest mystery is “Death of a Liturgist,” a wild romp through a traditional parish that is hijacked by a man who wants everyone to feel groovy at Sunday Mass. She also has written “Death in the Choir” and five other books.

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About the Author

Lorraine is the author of “The Abbess of Andalusia: Flannery O’Connor’s Spiritual Journey.” She also has written three mysteries, most recently “Death Dons a Mask.” Her email is lorrainevmurray@yahoo.com. All of her books can be seen on her website is www.lorrainevmurray.com.

Lorraine V. Murray grew up in Miami, and graduated from Immaculata Academy High School. One of the nuns there predicted that if Lorraine went to a secular college, she would be in great danger of losing her faith. Lorraine thought that was funny, but in fact the sister’s prediction came true.

Majoring in English at the University of Florida, Lorraine bid farewell to her Catholicism when she was 19. She went on to get a Ph.D. in philosophy and became a radical feminist and atheist for over 20 years.

After teaching courses in English and philosophy on the college level, Lorraine worked as an editor in a university publications office. In her forties, the Lord called her back to her Catholic roots, and she went on to write about her conversion journey in her book “Confessions of an Ex-Feminist.”

Her recent books are "Death of a Liturgist," a fun-filled mystery featuring murder and mayhem in a Georgia parish, and "The Abbess of Andalusia," which explores Flannery O'Connor's Catholic journey. All her books can be seen at www.lorrainevmurray.com (link provided below).

Lorraine writes regular columns for the religion section of “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution” and “The Georgia Bulletin.” She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband, Jef, a Tolkien artist and book illustrator. In her spare time, she bakes bread, watches hummingbirds, and chases squirrels out of her garden.

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2 Comments

  1. Lorraine,

    I enjoyed this article and have been thinking about it all day. I remember well my own conversion into the Church and the questions I wrestled with at that time. We have the fullness of the truth in the Catholic Church and we are so blessed…if we will only open our eyes and see it.

    Thank you and God bless,

    Randy

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