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Friday, April 22, 2005

Earth Day through God's eyes

I thought about God in an adult way first, in college, when I allowed physics and chemistry to convince me that God was merely the Law of Conservation of Energy: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Aha! God! So I had all the convenience of a First Cause, a Creator, with none of the baggage of Him loving me or expecting anything of me. Until He told me different.

During that God-as-Energy to God-as-Father transition, I discovered this dear chapter in the Bible:

For all men who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature; and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know him who exists, nor did they recognize the craftsman while paying heed to his works;

but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air, or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water, or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world.

If through delight in the beauty of these things men assumed them to be gods, let them know how much better than these is their Lord, for the author of beauty created them.

And if men were amazed at their power and working, let them perceive from them how much more powerful is he who formed them.

For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator.

Yet these men are little to be blamed, for perhaps they go astray while seeking God and desiring to find him.

For as they live among his works they keep searching, and they trust in what they see, because the things that are seen are beautiful.

Yet again, not even they are to be excused; for if they had the power to know so much that they could investigate the world, how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?


- Wisdom 13:1-9

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I'm sure he's reassured when we agree...here's Benedict XVI challenging the notion of "I can worship God on the beach / golf course / woods / my back yard:"

"The cardinal leaves room for arguments that are sometimes heard nowadays: "I can also pray in the woods, submerged in nature."

"Of course one can," Cardinal Ratzinger replies. "However, if it was only that way, then the initiative of prayer would remain totally within us: Then God would be a postulate of our thought. That fact that he responds or might want to respond, would remain an open question."

"Eucharist means: God has responded," the cardinal continues. "The Eucharist is God as response, as a presence that responds. Now the initiative of the divine-human relation no longer depends on us, but on him, and so it becomes really serious."

- his book, An Intimate God, excerpts in English from the web

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The Earth won't love you back.

2 comments:

Sr. Lorraine said...

I've met people who think of God as some kind of impersonal force, as you wrote about. I don't know why they resist the idea of a personal God. Perhaps they fear he might make too many demands.
But you're right: the earth can't talk back.
Have you blogged your conversion story before? It sounds like it would be interesting.

Therese Z said...

Thank you. I didn't convert, I reverted, sort of. I've never worshipped in another church; I just stopped caring, for a long long time. Every effort in that time, some very sincere, to draw near to the Lord, "failed" because I didn't pray, or didn't have the courage to find people to worship with and talk to. I'd surge ahead and fall back, unwilling to give up some sins or too prideful to hook up with those "holy people" over there....

Pretty standard story, I'm afraid, for many people. It's sheer Grace that brought me back, enchanted as I am with my own intelligence and decision-making ability....

 

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