Monday, January 18, 2010

God is Among Us

I just finished reading the most fascinating series of articles by Fr. Steven at Glory to God for All Things entitled Christianity in a One-Storey Universe. Father postulates that the world--creation, what we can see-- and God-- the saints, angels and what we can't see--do NOT exist like an office building built on two separate stories. Instead, we are intertwined and exist together in a "one storey Universe."

It is not God "up there" and us "down here." To put God only "in heaven" he says, is to be a kind of Christian Atheist (or a Deist like many of the American founding fathers who believed that God created the world and then essentially left us alone.) If God is seen as not being where we are, we become alone and it is a small step to say that God ceases to exist altogether.

Father Steven says that the Church in modern times has been relegated by an increasingly secular society (and by many Christians) to the non-existent "second storey" where it can remain nebulous, abstract and out of the way. In this way, it becomes easy to ignore and discard.

This two storey theology affects everything we do.  When we pray, do we "call God"..."e-mail" Him our requests?  Do we feel alone in prayer and every day life?  Do we feel that the tenets of our faith are useless rules?  If we operate on the world view that God is absent from our daily existence, we feel spiritually mistreated and betrayed and our religious practices become meaningless.

I think this world view also has an affect on our tendency to sin. If we believe God is "up there" and therefore not "down here" in any significant way, we tend to ignore our sins and think that sacramental confession is unnecessary and and ineffective when in reality it is a way of bringing us the before our Creator...of taking down the veil, if you will, that often prevents us from realizing that we truly are before the Throne of God.

The sacraments in general, I think, are types of portals, showing us what already exists--God (and saints and angels) permeating...sharing...our world. (Or rather, we are sharing their world!)

Humanity was brought into existence by the Triune God whose very Being is Love itself. The three-in-one aspect of God points to the fact that Love can not exist alone. To love is to love another. True love, however, is also unity and God is One.

A God whose very existence is about unity, then, would not abandon His creation. That would go against the essence of who He is.

God is truly present in all things and thus, we can say with St. Paul, "All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

The last month of Scripture readings at Mass have been pointing us to the Truth that has already existed.  The incarnation (birth) of Christ, His revelation to the Shepherds, to the wise men, to the crowd gathered at His baptism in the Jordan, and last week, to the guests at the wedding at Cana, reveals to us what is true--that God is indeed among us--here--now--always.

4 comments:

godamongus said...

God is among us, indeed! God bless you and keep up the great writing.

Dymphna said...

Thanks so much for the comment, and for following my blog! God IS among us!

Marilena said...

God is among us indeed. Bless you my friend, great post!

Dymphna said...

Thanks, Marilena!

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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