Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Oh, God, who are you?

Notice, if you will, that I did not say "Oh, God, what are you?" I said "who" for a very specific reason, of course. It is interesting to look back on different conceptions of who/what God is. To the ancient pagans, the gods were basically forces in nature that were also personal in some way. We could interact with them on certain levels...that is they could, if they wanted, interact with us. Eventually, however, the philosophers rejected this idea of the divine and instead introduced an "idea" based god. God is conclusion that we reach, a concept that must be present in the universe. In his five ways, St. Thomas Aquinas, who is of course a Catholic, uses this conceptual idea to reason toward "a god". In the five ways at least, this is not the personal God that Thomas himself believes in.

I opened a book by Joseph Ratzinger called "God is Near Us." It's a collections of homilies etc. I had just opened it to the first page and started reading when I came upon a passage that addresses just this. God is a person. He is not an idea that can be proved. If I were to tell you that I had a brother (I have three) would you believe me? Could I prove it to you if you yourself had not experienced my brothers? I don't believe I could. A person is such that the experience is what matters. Now you could certainly believe me, but they doesn't mean I've proved to you that my brother exists. Proof is for statements. If God is True, he can not be proven like a true statement.

However, he is Reality Himself. All that is true is only true if he has created it that way. To say God is Good is a statement about God and can be proved....with the right premises. The thing is, one of the premises is the empirical experience of God. In the ancient Hebrew civilisation, they experienced God in many potent ways, but none more potent that the Incarnation of Christ. Since then, we can say that humanity has experienced God empirically and now since he is "with us always" we don't need proof, we just need to meet him.

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