Notre Dame

November 26, 2019

“…‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One’” (Mark 12:29, NIV 1984).


My nurse practitioner is a Catholic Christian who has expanded her options by embracing Buddhism after multiple vacations to Thailand, where she fell in love with elephants. When the church at Notre Dame burned, she was heartbroken, as was I. Today I asked her if she had ever been to Notre Dame and seen the Crown of Thorns that was kept there. She had not, but then showed me a picture of St. Anthony she carried with her, and then drifted to her admiration of St. Francis. She said. “I’ve always wanted to walk where St. Francis walked.”


“Why don’t you go to Europe then, instead of Thailand?”


“Well, in Thailand, I get Buddha,” she said.


“Sure,” I responded. “But, if you walk with Buddha, you disappear. If you walk with St. Francis, you live forever.”


She left to see her patients.


Why do most people seek a God to get them through this life?


Sigmund Freud would say, “People have invented God because they are insecure and need to believe.”


C.S. Lewis would say, “We seek God because He has created us with an emptiness that He alone can fill.”1


When I sincerely search my heart for the reasons I long for God, I have found two great questions:


  1. “Why am I not whole?” and
  2. “Why does it have to end?”


These two questions form the foundation for all other questions in my life.


Have I simply invented a god to answer them? Every one of us who prays must decide for themselves. For me, the answer is clear: an empty tomb, a transformed group of cowardly disciples, the rise of the church in a world of persecution, our communities of Christian fellowship, the stories of those who follow Christ, the “aliveness” of the Scripture, experience after experience in my own life….


And I have met the One who makes me whole.


And I walk each day with a Risen Lord who opens the door that is otherwise shut at the end of life.


Dear Father,

Thank you for making me whole and for giving me life with you, forever.



1 from The Question of God by Armand Nicholi

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.