Thursday, January 27, 2011
Blog # 108 Amen !
Blog # 108 Amen ! Amen is the response we have become accustomed to place at the conclusion of our prayers. It is a sort of stamp of approval to the content of what our prayers express. It means Yes, count me in, I desire to do or be or possess whatever it was for which I have just prayed. It was the response Mary made to the angel-messenger who gave her God's invitation that she should be the mother of the promised Messiah. It completely changed the rest of her life and continues on for us in the life of the Church today. Amen! Yes!,it is a short word, but it has a long history and great power. My sharing Blog # 108 with you is something like sharing my Amen to Blogs # 106 and 107. I believe what I have written in them. Blog # 108 is my practical response to what I believe about God as the sole Creator of all that exists. It will not be my complete response but only a sampling of it to invite you to reflect upon what you believe about God and Jesus and then what difference that faith makes in a practical way in your daily experience of life. In identifying my faith in God THE CREATOR of all that exists I go back to a philosophy class in the seminary many years ago in which I learned that although we can legitimately use words in speaking and thinking of God they do not mean the same thing in both cases. That is so because their application to God in the sense in which they apply in every other instance would place limits in my notion of God and God simply IS, that is to say unlimited or infinite. For example, I can say of you or another person or of myself we are powerful kind and merciful. I can use the same words of God. God is powerful kind and merciful. But that does not and cannot mean the same thing in both instances, with God being simply more merciful than we. God is powerful, merciful and kind by analogy. We would come closer to the truth to say and think in every instance of speaking of God something like this: God IS MERCY. God IS POWER. To think of God, to know God, to love God are all gifts rather than achievements. Faith, hope, and love are identified in our Catholic theology as supernatural virtues , all by definition gifts from God! In a practical response to that little reflection upon God I stand in awe at my faith in God, I appreciate more than ever the privilege it is to know God as I do. It gives me joy throughout the day to worship God in a simple prayer of welcome, praise, and thanks,'making God present' almost as though I were the creator and God were the creature. This would be blasphemy rather than prayer if I did not keep myself mindful of the content and meaning of the prayer with which I begin the day when I address my infinite God in the limited words: Here I am, Lord. I come to do thy will. I worship You, Lord, which as You know is the word we use in Jesus' Name to express our limited human yet genuine love for Thee alone as our Creator, the Giver of all we are and all that we possess. Amen! I don't think it would be good for these blogs to get too long so I am going to end this one now and hope to write a new one for tomorrow in response to # 107 which identified Jesus as God.