March 23, 2011

God

There are days on which all I do is read. Just for my sanity, I try to get out for a walk when I can. I think about my life. How is that I find myself as a doctoral student in sacred theology? In a certain way it's obvious. The question at the root of it has been with me as long as I can remember, even though I haven't always paid attention to it.

Who is this God? What is meant by the utterance "God"?

It's not an easy question. God has names and definitions. God reveals himself, but in ways that seem to be apart from what we ordinarily call certainty and knowledge. He is somehow undeniable and exasperatingly subtle at the same time. He's isn't a thing, but he isn't nothing either. Somehow God is no-thing, and we say that He 'exists' because we don't know how to talk about Someone who is transcendent to, or the ground and principle of anything else that seems to exist.

He is always there, or to speak a little more precisely, He is always here. He is always now, but in such a way as to be both before and later in His singular now-ness. And yet, this endlessly robust Presence retreats from the grasp of our prayer and intellectual desire. Thus he draws us more deeply into the Light of Himself, but in such a way that it only feels like darkness.


"God is the infinitely rich and fecund mystery whose eternal being is a dynamic ecstasy of goodness and love." -Zachary Hayes, in his introduction to St. Bonaventure's Disputed Questions on the Mystery of the Trinity

"
If you believe, if you make a simple act of submission to the authority of God proposing some article of faith externally through His Church, you receive the gift of an interior light that is so simple that it baffles description and so pure that it would be coarse to call in an experience. But it is a true light, perfecting the intellect of man with a perfection far beyond knowledge." -Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation, 133.

5 comments:

timh said...

RE: How is that I find myself as a doctoral student in sacred theology?

In my vocation, the question always was (& will be) How is it that I find myself as a mother of all these children?

Especially late at night, in the darkness, waiting for an older one to come home, and checking in on the little ones - seeing His "endlessly robust Presence" in these creatures, made in His likeness...

Judy Kallmeyer said...

My, that is heavy! I guess I more relate to God that contemplate Him. Maybe I need to do more of the latter.

Thom, sfo said...

I've been reading Thich Nhat Hanh, and he has a chapter that says exactly this.

Huge stuff, this is.

Laura said...

"And yet, this endlessly robust Presence retreats from the grasp of our prayer and intellectual desire. Thus he draws us more deeply into the Light of Himself, but in such a way that it only feels like darkness."

Thank you for putting it so well! How very true. I feel that in my own prayer life.

I appreciate the sense of edification that I have when I close out my web browser after reading your blog - how good it is to see articulated so well something which I have such difficulty describing!

God bless you!

Brother Charles said...

Good to meet you, Laura. Thanks for the encouragement!