Yes, the girls at Mercy Catholic High School in Middletown, Connecticut, have more questions about God for me!
Q: How do you know God is with you in everything you do? Do you really believe that every step you take, every choice you make he's beside you? — From H
A: Yes! I believe that God is with me every step I take. The question that haunts me is whether I am with God.
Q: If God is real, and His bond is so strong, then how can people lose faith so easily? How can you believe in God so strongly when there is no visible proof of His existence? — From A
A: Carl Sandburg once wrote these true words, "A baby is God's opinion that life should go on." I believe that a baby is proof for the existence of God.
Q: When there is injustice in the world such as terrorism or discrimination, how are we supposed to respond? — From I
A: I, we must oppose evil in all its forms or the free will God gave to us is a wasted gift.
Q: Why is it that God places various hardships within our lives, like the pandemic of COVID-19? Do you believe that God has a plan for everyone he created and that everything that happens (from the smallest of things to the largest) to each person is a part of that plan? — From K
A: No. God has a map for us, not a plan for us. If we follow the map, then God has a plan, and that plan is for each of us to use our blessings to fix the world.
Q: I have been to Catholic school my whole life, and at my elementary and middle school, I used to attend church at least once a week. Now that I am in high school, my life has been so busy with work, sports and school that I have never found the time to go to church during the week. Thank you so much for listening to my questions and I hope you can get back to me. — From M
A: If you have a regular habit of brushing your teeth and if you have a regular habit of exercising and if you have a regular habit of eating healthy foods, then just use the force in your soul that enabled you to brush your teeth to find a way to make it to Mass. And when you attend Mass, tell the priest that it was a rabbi who got you to go.
Q: Why should I want to believe in God when I am content otherwise? Nobody in my family is religious, and it has never been a part of my life, so why should I be made to believe I am less than for not wanting to? — From R
A: You are not less for not wanting to be religious. However, you could be more. Knowing that God is with you will make you more.
Q: How do we know that God wants us to continue fighting for something and that he truly does not want us to give up yet? My second question is, how do we know that God has forgiven us when we do wrong? — From S
A: You know that God wants you to continue to fight for the good by just pausing for a moment to reflect on how crummy you feel when you do give up.
Q: How do you differentiate between signs from God and mere coincidences? Do you believe angels walk the Earth to help human beings? — From A
A: A sign from God is just a coincidence viewed by a particularly enthusiastic observer with a rich and pious life.
Q: As a busy teenager I know it may be hard to prioritize practicing faith as a part of one's daily routine; how and what do you recommend to teens, myself included, that can strengthen our relationship with God? — From A
A: End each day with this prayer, "God this is the good I did today." Then list the good you did. Begin each day with this prayer, "Thank you, God." Those two prayers should do it for you.
Q: There are a multitude of theories on what being alive means. Personally, my favorite is that we are living in a simulation. With how complex and interconnected the world is, it makes the most sense to me. That being said, I do believe in a Higher Power. So, how can I find God in this simulation? — From N
A: Life is not a video game. Over and out.
SEND QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS to The God Squad at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rabbi Marc Gellman, Temple Beth Torah, 35 Bagatelle Rd., Melville, NY 11747.