## Sunday, August 31, 2014

### Blog # 345 God's Presence in #'s

Blog # 345  God's Presence in #'s

1x9+2=11                                                         1x8+1=9
12x9+3=111                                                     12x8+2=98
123x9+4=1111                                                 123x8+3=987
1234x9+5=11111                                             1234x8+4=9876
12345x9+6=111111                                         12345x8+5=98765
123456x9+7=1111111                                     123456x8+6=987654
1234567x9+8=11111111                                 1234567x8+7=9876543
12345678x9+9=111111111                              12345678x8+8=98765432
123456789x9+10=1111111111                          123456789x8+9=987654321

Write down the digits from one to nine, omitting
1+1=2 Always!                eight.  Select one of these digits.  Multiply it by
Everywhere!                  nine and multiply the original row of digits by the
Dependable!              answer. The final answer will be all digits of the
Trustworthy!          number selected repeated eight times.
Example:  Number 4 x 9  = 36
12345679
______    36
44444444

9x9+7=88                                                           1x1=1
98x9+6=888                                                      11x11=121
987x9+5=8888                                                 111x111=12321
9876x9+4=88888                                          1111x1111=1234321
98765x9+3=888888                                   111111x11111=123454321
987654x9+2=8888888                             1111111x1111111=12345654321
9876543x9+1=88888888                       11111111x11111111=123456787654321
98765432x9+0=888888888                 111111111x111111111=12345678987654321

That configuration of numbers came to me from a friend who received it from another friend who is a Moslem.  There were several comments on it from other Moslems.  One of them, which is typical of the rest, was "Here is an interesting and lovely way to look at the beauty of mathematics, and of God, the sum of all wonders".

As a Catholic priest and theologian I have thought a great deal through the years about the presence of God. St.Thomas Aquinas, one of the Church's greatest theologians, asked the question whether we could even speak of God with any significance.  His answer was "Yes", but only if we
realize  that whatever we think or say of God must be understood analogously. It is something like
having a picture of George Washington and asking the question "Who is that?" in the picture. We
correctly say George Washington but realize we are speaking analogously.  It is true and not true
at the same time.  To say of the picture it is anyone other than George Washington would be an
error.  To say God is wise, or God is good, with the meaning of what we say is God is better or
more wise and good than others rather than God is good analogously, understood as infinitely different than all others in a way that is beyond all measure and we are absolutely incompetent to  understand fully.
In desiring to know the truth about God's presence we come upon the question of certitude
and degrees of certitude.  Experience and mathematical certitude would be listed as our greatest natural certitudeOther degrees of certitude would fall under the terms of opinion. guess. hope, a claim to truth as fitting, and that coming from the degree of confidence we have in the testimony of another. The certitude we possess from the supernatural gift of faith in the testimony of God, is greater than all natural certitude and requires faith to make it real.
When I received the email I have printed  out for you it occurred to me to think of God being present in numbers. I didn't remember ever thinking of it the way the thought began to
unravel for me . I started out with the identity we give to God as the sole Creator of all that exists. Numbers are real. They exist by the will of God and belong to God. They manifest and bear witness to God's infinite power wisdom goodness and love. It is mind boggling how much numbers
play a part in the daily lives of people in very nation on earth and in every language.
How much do bananas potatoes and onions cost today?  When were  you born?  There
are three billion neurons in the normal human brain. Telephone numbers, street addresses, golf
scores,  speed limits along the highway, light traveling at 186,000 miles a second, day and night.
all are measured in numbers. There is a temperature of 30,000,000 degrees in the interior of the sun, and  scientists speak of stars in the billions, billions of light years away.
An impressive fact about numbers that I consider more than something merely accidental is that every number begins and has reference to number one.  We can't get to number two or to any other number without going through number one.  In counting our ten fingers or in counting fifty billion stars we start with number one. That fits in with our identity of a our sole Creator, with all else that exists depending upon God and beginning with God and existing due to the fact God is in them and they are in God as their source and the power keeping them in existence..
I have experienced spiritual writers inviting us to be aware of  and responsive to God's presence in the colors shapes and sounds of creation in nature all around us, but I do not remember any of them referring explicitly to the wonderful opportunity we have of discovering God and responding to God whenever and wherever we deal with numbers, and inviting us to rejoice, be grateful, and glorify Him in His presence there.  Further, it is interesting how everything we consider in colors shapes and sounds is measured by numbers,  primary colors, red, yellow, blue,1-2-3, a box 24" by 32", eight notes in an octave.
In gathering the crumbs left over from the miraculous feeding of 5,000 people, Jesus let it be known He didn't want anything wasted. I am inviting you not to let the many numbers in  your everyday life go by unused or wasted but that  you would find in them a solid ground for your closeness to God and growth in your love for God.