JESUS, AS ONE OF US, BELIEVED IN THE REALITY OF GOD AND PRAYED.
There is a fundamental truth about words we use in speaking about God. That truth is this: we cannot speak or think of God the way we speak or think of any other reality or experience. God is Altogether Other, One. Alone, Unique. No words or thoughts that apply to any other experience, imaginative or real, apply in the same way to the experience of identifying thinking or speaking about our relationship with God. No thoughts or words of ours, in their essential human limitation, are capable of defining describing or expressing the infinity of God. I see the application of the thoughts I have just shared with you not only as important but essential for an intelligent justification of genuine prayer, religious practice, and in particular a proper understanding and appreciation of the Christian faith and experience.There are three general categories of words. univocal words are spelled differently pronounced differently and have different meanings - yes, no. equivocal words are spelled the same pronounced the same but have different meanings - bear, the animal; bear with my ignorance; bear a child. analogous words are spelled the same and pronounced the same but have more than one meaning related to one another but not expressing the same exact meaning of one another - George Washington on a dollar bill. It 'is' he and none other but at the same time it 'is not' he. When it comes to 'knowing God', the more we learn the less we know compared to the whole. Some questions: Is someone who does not believe in God necessarily by that fact a sinner? Is it possible to discover God on our own? What does it mean to be 'on our own'? Can we write a definition of God? Can we prove that God exists before we believe that God exists? Why or why not? I could not intelligently pray without answers to these and similar questions. The Bible seems to take the reality and presence of God for granted. Two passages are by way of exception. Wisdom 13: 1 - 5; Romans 1: 20. In the first passage a key element is the phrase "by analogy". In the second passage, the key is our understanding of God's "eternal power and divinity" becoming visible in creation. That is not to claim that God's life, God's self is made known. A pie-maker reveals something of him/herself in the pie that is made, but the whole person of the pie-maker , his or her motive in making the pie , his or her claim to ownership of the pie etc. is more than what is revealed in the pie. That is similar to what the passage in Romans is claiming for God in creation. Power Wisdom and Goodness are revealed in creation. But the question remains is this the work of a single source? Is there a single Power Wisdom and Goodness responsible for it all? What about the question of evil in the world? Is the same Power Wisdom and Goodness responsible in some way for this too? Consider the statement many of us learned in our early years as a child: "God is everywhere." Consider our dependence upon God - when and how, completely, without exception , personally, uniquely. What assurance do we have that our prayers always 'reach' God? If you are searching for a deeper knowledge and love of God find time and peace in the presence of the God you know to reflect on the questions you have about God. Open your mind and heart to receive the gift of a greater understanding and appreciation of God's presence and respond to it. When it comes to the existence of God we either believe it or we do not believe it. We can prove there is power wisdom and goodness, etc. But to say this is God is not ours to say on our own. It is mine to be open to a message claiming :"I AM" , the Powerful One, the Wise, the Good, Love. I am free to ignore the message, believe it, or reject it. I am not free to determine the message. How unwise it is to look to natural science for complete answers to our questions about God. Science deals with measurements colors shapes sounds physical things and human limited experiences. God is here,yes, analogously, like Geeorge Washington is on every American dollar yet he is not paper and he is also somewhere else in a real and different way. That is the way it was this morning when I saw a picture of President Obama in the morning paper. It was really he and none other in a real analogous way but he was also in Washington DC in a real and different way. We, united with Jesus through faith and Baptism as branches on a vine, call God our Father in our prayer.