A very special greeting to you, seekers of truth, to you, men of thought and science, explorers of man, of the universe, and of history, to all of you who are pilgrims on the pathway to the light and also to those who have stopped along the way, worn out and disappointed by an empty search.
Every night I say a prayer in the hopes that there’s a Heaven. And every day I’m more confused as the saints turn into sinners. All the heroes and legends I knew as a child have fallen to idols of clay and I feel this empty place inside so afraid that I’ve lost my faith.
Why a special greeting to you? Because all of us here (…) long to hear the truth. Surely our paths were bound to cross. Your road is ours. Your pathways are never foreign to ours. We are the friends of your calling as seekers, the brethren of your weariness, the admirers of your achievements, and, if need be, the consolers of your discouragements and your failures.
Show me the way, show me the way take me tonight to the river and wash my illusions away. Please show me the way!
For you therefore, we have this message, too: continue to search, without ever tiring, nor ever despairing of the truth (…) ‘Let us seek with the desire to find and let us find with a desire to seek even more’.^ Happy are those, who, possessing the truth, seek it more earnestly in order to renew it, to deepen it, to give it to others. Happy are those who, having not found it, advance toward it with a sincere heart: may they search for the light of tomorrow with the light of today, until the light is at its fullest.
And as I slowly drift to sleep for a moment dreams are sacred, I close my eyes and know there’s peace in a world so filled with hatred that I wake up each morning and turn on the news to find we’ve so far to go and I keep on hoping for a sign so afraid I just won’t know.
But do not forget this: if thinking is a great thing, thinking is first of all a duty; woe to whoever willingly shuts his eyes to the light! Thinking is also a responsibility: woe to those who darken the spirit by the thousand tricks that degrade it, that inflate it with pride, that deceive it, that deform it. What other fundamental principle is there for men of science if not to make every effort to think rightly?
Show me the way, show me the way take me tonight to the river and wash my illusions away and show me the way!
For this purpose, without disturbing your progress, without bedazzling your vision, we come to offer you the light of our mysterious lamp: faith. He who confided it to us is the supreme Master of thought, he whose humble disciples we are, the only one who said and who could have said ‘I am the light of the world; I am the way, and the truth, and the life’.
And if I see a light, should I believe? Tell me how will I know. Show me the way, show me the way take me tonight to the river and wash my illusions away. Show me the way, show me the way, give me the strength and the courage to believe that I’ll get there someday. And please show me the way
This word applies to you. Never perhaps, thank God, has there been so clear a possibility as today of such a profound accord between true science and true faith, mutual servants of the same single truth. Do not stand in the way of such a fruitful meeting! Have confidence in faith, the great friend of intelligence! Enlighten yourselves in its light in order to grasp the truth, the whole truth.
Every night I say a prayer in the hopes that there’s a Heaven.
+ To Seekers of Truth: Message to Men of Thought and Science. December 8, 1965. Acta Apostolicar Sedis 58 (1966), pp. 10–11, trans. Richard Lemp and John E Hittinger.
* Show Me the Way (Styx, 1990)
^ St. Augustine