I had an interesting conversation with one local tradesman about the state of affairs in the world today. He said to me that even though he is not religious, he is convinced that what people are missing in their lives is religion. I was intrigued by his assessment of current events, and wanting to know more about his hypothesis I asked a number of questions. His observation of our Catholic Church and the community of people who come here led him to this conclusion. He told me: “People today are missing community, and they are missing purpose. As a result of these elements missing in their lives, they grow increasing lonely and tend to move in directions of extreme social activism without much moral guidance apart from their own intuitions and ideas”. I thought this was a fascinating observation, and it occupied my mind long after our conversation was over. I think he is correct that civil unrest we are seeing in the world today is partly due to the rejection of religion. The trouble with rejection of religion is that it is not really a rejection but a replacement. By our very nature we are religious beings. We know this from our studies of the history of civilization. As far back as we can go in human history we always see religion as an essential part of the human experience. Humans have always looked up at heavens, so to speak, in search of a deeper meaning, a moral compass, and a truth that is not of their own making. Rejection of religion is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of humanity, and for a good reason. It is new because is it not natural, and inevitably leads to a replacement of religion with a man-made religion of sorts. It seldom leads to a proper rejection without any replacement. As we look at all the unrest in the world today, most of which seeks justification in the injustice that exists in our communities, we must ask a fundamental question of intent: “What is my role in all of this and how do I go about making positive change?” For those who have religion as their foundation the answer is provided: humility and love, which starts with myself, is the answer. In other words, unless I’m able to approach the challenges of the present world with a peaceful and loving attitude, I am in no position to bring about real change. In the absence of religious wisdom, people make their own attempts at bringing about change, and often without much attention paid to their own internal dispositions. Without humility and love change is not possible, because its efforts are fuelled by anger, judgement, and violence towards others. Our religion protects us from ourselves, and it protects others from the worst version of ourselves. This is why we need religion, we need God, and we need the community of believers in our lives. When religion is lived and practiced in our culture it can lead people around us to ask these important questions, and maybe even lead them to desire religion in their lives.