We are experiencing a dramatic social upheaval in today’s world, a breakdown of our living conditions and values. A non-stop world: No one can stop it, and we find no place to stop in it. Political boundaries become less important; social structures seem to disintegrate—all is subordinated to cash flow and profit maximization. With growing individualism, the concept of the good and proper life has been lost. Whether one is faithful or unfaithful, fair or unfair, honest or dishonest seems to have less importance. Freedom and prosperity are the magic words. We live flexibly and without commitment, go where we wish, when we wish. This does not produce living conditions that facilitate belief in God and contact with God, as one perhaps had during childhood. The longing for old values such as faith and deeper spiritual meaning has consequently been reawakened.
What repercussions does this development have on society, children, the elderly, the ill? Whom do people allow first to be God? Who is our pilot? Is it the coach, the psychologist, the investment counselor? Who is supposed to support man in the future through his crisis, whether public or private? Who needs God? What does God provide? Can we truly live without faith or the Church? Why does the Church so often seem not to understand us and our needs?
These and many other questions posed to Christoph Cardinal Schönborn in this book are the questions asked today by many people who are searching for God and want to live the experience of faith.
“When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing—they believe in anything.”
— G. K. Chesterton
Christoph Cardinal Schönborn is the Archbishop of Vienna, Austria. He was the general editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and is the author of numerous works including Chance or Purpose?, My Jesus, Behold God’s Son, and Living the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Barbara Stöckl is an Austrian television and radio journalist. The host of numerous broadcasts, she has recently launched a new televised magazine Stöckl an Samstag.