Blog # 447 God
What did you think of that first paragraph? It almost looks like a typographical error, just three letters sitting there alone. Yet what you and I think of God is the key to what we think of the value and meaning of the life of Jesus, and of the Church, of ourselves, and of the whole world around us.
Blog # 446 considers briefly some ideas about God that will perhaps invite us to ask further questions about God, and in the process grow in our knowledge and love for God. St. Thomas Aquinas, back in what has been called the Golden Age of Catholic Theology and Philosophy, asked the question: Can we really even speak of God?
What do people mean when they say: In Heaven we shall see God face to face? What do we mean when we say : God is changeless? What do you think of this statement?: "You cannot prove that God exists. If we could, I would think He/or She, the god you would proclaim, is not God. And I would imagine that among intelligent people there would be few atheists and among less intelligent people there would be few who discovered God, but that is not the case. If you or I were to 'prove' that God exists, I would think He is not God. To prove God exists would be in a real sense to be greater than He, to contain Him in our mind , to control Him, to be God's God!" Also, to exist is a
word that automatically limits the verb to which it applies. If something exists it has to exist here, there, or some place else, large, small, hot, cold, etc. etc. When God gave His Name to give to Pharaoh God said I AM. God is infinite, without limits. God simply IS!
With regard to the question of seeing God we profess that it is impossible ever here or in Heaven to see God physically with our eyes. This is so in that to be seen physically requires that what is seen be colorful and to be colorful would automatically limit God and make God Who is unlimited a contradiction in terms. Then realizing our dictionaries and the Bible itself uses the word see to mean know, we ask can we see God in the sense of knowing God. Again in view of the infinite difference between creator and creature, we acknowledge our inability to know God. As the eye is not capable of experiencing sound, and the ear is not capable of experiencing color, so our minds are not capable of knowing God in Himself. 1John 4:12 testifies to this. "No one has seen God." Verse 18 of the first Chapter of John has the exact same words: "No one as ever seen God."
So use your imagination for a moment and imagine yourself walking along a smooth seashore. You see footprints in the sand. You have no problem recognizing them as evidence that a horse, a man, and a dog were walking on the beach. In a similar way we see evidence of power wisdom and goodness around us and within us. That cannot be denied. From these 'footprints' a person can draw the conclusion, as we draw a certain confident conclusion from footprints on the sand that a Power a Wisdom and a Goodness is present in and around us, and we say the word God. This experience is something akin to seeing a person in a mirror rather than directly.
Our knowledge would be true, but because of our human limitations, it would be very incomplete.
God. in His divine love for us desired to offer a greater knowledge of Himself so that we in our turn, knowing God better could love God more. And so, in a significant text for our present considerations (Matthew 11: 27) , we have: "...no one knows the Father but the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him".
Jesus, alone, as God's eternal Son knows God on an equal basis. Jesus. like us in all but sin, reveals God according to our limited human capacity. We hear Jesus speak of the infinite God in human terms as our Father. We see Jesus praying, worshipping, trusting. obeying the Infinite God in a very real and personal way on earth, from earth, with the same human nature as we possess. No one can see God. But God has been revealed to us by His Son Jesus. No one knows the Father but the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him!
Jesus is the revealer of the living Eternal Ceator of all! Why is it that some of our Protestant friends are afraid that Catholics do not believe and know this of Jesus? How important it is that each of us lives in such a way that no one around us would ever have the least doubt that we know and love Jesus as the sole source of our faith, the justification of our hope, and the model of our love for the Eternal Creator, God, our Father, worthy of our unconditional trust and total love!
Your Lenten smile:
Pete: Hey, Mack, How come your dog keeps turning around in circles so much?
Mac: . that's OK. The guy who sold him to me said he is a watch dog, and that is how he winds himself up.
Knock, Knock.Who's there? Phyllis. Phyllis who? Phyllis in on the latest news.