God Is LOVE!

God Is LOVE!

Fr. James Chelich
June 2010

I
GOD IS ONE

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
Deuteronomy 6:4

There is only one God, not three. But the One God reveals Himself, and is experienced by humanity as three “Persons.” These “Persons” are distinct in that one is not either
of the others, but apart from this distinction each possesses all that the others are, and they possess one and the same mind and will. Although this is an unfathomable mystery, it is important not to dismiss it from consideration. It has profound meaning for humanity. It is the key to our existence in the created world. Our purpose here is not to analyze what these “Persons” are, but to receive what God has revealed them
to be, and gain an insight into how these “Persons” are One God. It is here that the treasure lies for humanity.

II
GOD IS THE FATHER,
GOD IS THE FATHER’S WORD – THE SON,
GOD IS THE FATHER’S SPIRIT – THE HOLY SPIRIT

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations.
Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19

God is the Father and Source of all Being.
He conceived of all that came to be.

God is the Word of the Father,
Who is the expression of the mind of the Father:

In the beginning was the Word;
The Word was in God’s presence, and the Word was God.
He was present to God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be…

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us,
and we have seen his glory:
the glory of an only Son coming from the Father
filled with grace and truth…
No one has ever seen God, it is God, the only Son,
ever at the Father’s side, who has revealed God.
John 1:1-3, 14, 18

All that the Father is, is in the Father’s Word; and all that He is,
is given in the service of the Father’s mind and will:

If you knew me, you would know my Father too.
John 8:19

The Father is in me and I in Him.
John 10:38

The Father and I are one.
John 10:30

All that the Father has belongs to me.
John 16:15

I do nothing by myself.
I say only what the Father has taught me.
John 8:28

God is the Spirit of the Father, the Father’s Power
Who unfolds all things as the Father conceives them
and the Father’s Word expresses them:

I will ask the Father and He will give you another Paraclete –
to be with you always: the Spirit of truth… John 14:16-17

When the Paraclete comes,
the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father –
and whom I myself will send from the Father –
he will bear witness on my behalf.
John 15:26

All that the Father is, and all that the Father’s Word expresses, is in the Father’s
Spirit, and all that He is, is given in the service of the Father and the Father’s Word:

He will not speak on his own, but will speak only what he hears…
In doing this He will give glory to me,
because He will have received from me what He will announce to you.
John 16:13

III
GOD IS LOVE

God is love,and he who abides in love,
abides in God and God in him. 1 John 4:16b

Between the Father, the Father’s Word, and the Father’s Spirit there is a dynamic, interactive Love of an utterly unique character – constantly self-giving, totally self-surrendering, it results in a unity complete, and yet an integrity preserved. In this unity, all is possessed by each as a gift received, and nothing is retained by any as a possession held. This unity is the One God. This Love is the origin of the universe. The Greek word given in the Bible for this constant, unreserved self-empting of one into the others is kenosis. At every moment, in every moment all is given as a gift,
and simultaneously all is received in return as a gift, but multiplied infinitely. At the core of Christian faith is the belief that the unreserved gift of self, at the heart of the Love that is God, always returns to the Giver infinitely multiplied.

IV
LOVE INCARNATE

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.
Live on in my love. John 15:9

The words and deeds of Jesus were collected and compiled by the early Christians under the inspiration of the Father’s Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16). We know them as the Gospel accounts attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Matthew, Mark and Luke’s accounts of Jesus’ life are noticeably similar to one another. We see Jesus leaving Nazareth in the region of Galilee where he had been reared as a child, and moving to a small fishing village. There he begins to teach. His words are compelling and draw more and more people. The love expressed in his words has a remarkable effect on many, who find that they are healed in body and mind. A blind man is restored to sight, a deaf man recovers his hearing, a woman is cured of the chronic bleeding that drains her strength away, a cripple is able to walk, a withered hand is restored to its full use. As he journeys around Galilee, down to Jerusalem, and into
the regions east of the Jordan River, the same things happen to people everywhere he goes. In reading all this one can easily get the impression that Jesus was a magician, that he had the power to perform miracles to amaze and draw the attention of the crowd. Some might say that he was an amazing faith healer: people brought him what they wanted fixed in themselves and he fixed it! Is that really what was at work in Jesus? John, the writer of the fourth Gospel, strongly suggests something very different.

John gives us a lens through which he asks us to look at and under-stand Jesus.
The lens, for John, is love. In his Gospel account he calls himself, “the disciple Jesus loved.” (John 21:7) His Gospel is filled with the word love, as he recalls the words of Jesus:

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.
Live on in my love. John 15:9

I give you a new commandment: Love one another.
Such as my love has been for you,
so must your love be for one another. John 13:34

Just Father, the world has not known you, but I have
known you; and these men have known that you sent me.
To them I have revealed your name, and I will continue
to reveal it so that your love for me may live in them,
and I may live in them. John 17:25-26

He who obeys the commandments he has from me
is the man who loves me; and he who loves me
will be loved by my Father. I too will love him
and reveal myself to him. John 14:21

John’s teaching letters in the New Testament are written around
the same theme:

Beloved, if God has loved us so,
we must have the same love for one another. 1 John 4:11

We have come to know and believe
in the love God has for us. 1 John 4:16a

God is love, and he who abides in love,
abides in God and God in him. 1 John 4:16b

We have seen his glory:
the glory of an only Son coming from the Father
filled with enduring love… John 1:14

John suggests that what people encountered when they met Jesus and he spoke to them was not a magician performing miracles or a faith healer performing cures, but something much more profound. John presses us to understand that in the presence
of Jesus people encountered the Source of their Being. Jesus himself says, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9). In his face, his words, his very being, they experienced the undying love of the God and Father who called them into existence. Some of these individuals immediately distanced themselves from Jesus.
They kept him mentally, emotionally, and I suspect even physically distant. Perhaps they sensed that to allow themselves to draw too close would mean that everything would change within them and around them. Others, however, looked him full in the face and drew into their hearts, minds and bodies the undying Love of God for them expressed there. Then, indeed, everything changed! When I get to Heaven I plan on looking up the guy who had his sight restored. I plan on asking him what it was like
to be healed of his blindness. I suspect that he will look at me and say, “That was the least of the things that got healed in me that day! It was the most visible at the moment, and it really was pretty spectacular to the crowds looking on, but let me assure you, it was the least

of the things that the Love in Jesus healed and drew back into right order within me.
I also plan on talking to the woman who, after years of chronic bleeding, was restored to full strength and able to stand tall and straight again. I want to ask her what it was like to feel the healing of her body. But again, I suspect that she will just look at me with puzzlement and say, “Dear man, that was the least of the things within me that was healed and regenerated!”

We have come to know
and believe in the love God has for us. 1 John 4:16a

Some things only the experience of the Love that conceived you and called you into being can heal in you: the wounds of abuse, the bitter resentments accumulated over the years, the anger retained and stored, the quick temper and tendency to violence. And there are some things that only this Love can restore to you: your sense of the value of your existence, the importance of your life, the purposefulness of the things that happen to you on your life’s journey, your freedom, your ability to love and to
be connected to the world in love – your very humanity!

V
PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT ALL FEAR

God is a mystery of unconditional, self sacrificing, out-flowing Love that leaves no part of self withheld, but casts the whole of self into whatever it gives or expresses. This is the Love that created the universe. This is the Love that conceived you and spoke your soul into existence. The potential to Love in this way is what makes humanity unique in all of God’s creation. It is the hallmark of God’s “image” in us. (Genesis 1:27)

Men and women, however, grew afraid of this Love that is their origin and called them into being. Fear of this Love seeded their hearts with dark suggestions: If I love, what will be in it for me? If I give, how much will I receive in return? If I give too much, will I have enough for myself? If I give all, will I be left with nothing – empty and alone? Here is an example of how fear and these dark suggestions work in you.
You are moved to do something to show your love for your spouse, a close friend or even someone you don’t know well. When you encounter them you find that they are in an irritable mood and are abrupt with you, maybe even rude to you. Fear grips your original good intention, and the resentment that grows from fear whispers to you: “They don’t deserve this. They won’t appreciate it!” You find yourself saying:
“I’m going to give them a taste of their own medicine. I am going to withhold it.” The good that was in you to do is arrested and withheld by the fear that grips you. Resentment is spawned from the fear, and anger flows from the resentment.
But ask yourself: Who really gets punished by not following through with the good you intended to do? Do they? Or do you? The truth is that something dies in you. Something dies in you when you do not follow through with the expression of love you have in mind, and hope dies in the world because an expression of selfless love was not poured out into the world.

The human heart and the human world have grown suspicious and even cynical
of the Love that is God. The Gospel accounts tell us that when people encountered Jesus, most of them drew back in fear – fear of the kind of Love they found in him.
In many this fear transformed itself into malice toward him. They sensed that if they embraced him, this Love would take possession of them and everything would change. They had good reason to believe this, for the only world of human relationship they had ever experienced was constructed on a conditional, contractual love which always looks to its own interests – a love which withdraws itself at the first sign of not being appreciated or gaining some return. Among the clever and the wise of their world, every gift of self calculates the return it will receive on its investment, and this is considered, “the intelligent thing to do” – a mark of sophisticated wisdom found in those “who get ahead” and are successful. In reality it takes a terrible toll, because this fear-based way of loving (and being) leaves a person “dis-eased” in mind, spirit and body – progressively more suspicious and even hostile to others in a way which easily erupts in violence. With every gift of self withheld, with every expression of love withdrawn, a man or woman violates his spiritual nature (the “Image of God” in him). His health of mind and body is weakened and something dies in his soul. It is his humanity.

This fear-distorted way of loving is also toxic to the order of creation, and all the creatures and elements in it. All things in creation are designed to unfold fully, without reservation, according to the pattern of their design and the laws of their nature. Nothing is withheld or withdrawn once given. In contrast, we human beings are inclined to lay hold of things in nature with only our own calculated advantage
in view. We quickly dismiss the integrity of the elements of the natural world and disregard how they are connected to each other in a life-giving way. Violating them
in this way, we use them to achieve the personal gain we have in mind. This has left the created world around us scarred and dying – the air poisoned, the water polluted, the atmosphere weakened, and more and more of the creatures that call our planet “home” facing extinction. Man and woman, who were created to be stewards
of the earth, have become its exploiters. It is not without reason that the Scriptures tell us, “all creation groans and is in agony even until now.” (Romans 8:22) – waiting for the healing and regeneration of humanity. “Indeed the whole created world eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19) The good news is that this is possible!

Love had no room for fear;
rather, perfect Love casts out all fear…
1 John 4:18

Those who opened their hearts to Jesus found that the Love that is God which is expressed in Jesus casts out all fear from their hearts, and leaves their minds, bodies and spirits in a healthy harmony. Anger, resentment, bitterness and hostility are swept away. This interior restoration of right order is the first phaseof the regeneration God’s Love accomplishes in a person. It is the work of the Spirit of the Father (the Holy Spirit). The healing continues to unfold and is sustained as long as the soul returns to rest in this Love. Possessed by the Love they receive in Jesus, those who open their hearts to him begin to love boldly and unconditionally simply because it is in them to do (Luke 19:8). They give generously because it is of their true self to do so (Luke 21:1-4). They love without thought of return, and in so loving they find another, truer self in place of the old – a self at peace and able to see the world in true perspective, a self whose joy is in expressing itself outward into the world.
This second phase of regeneration happens closely upon the first. It too is the work
of the Spirit of the Father (the Holy Spirit), Who has taken seat in their soul and inspires them to love as God loves. The result is a human being restored to the Divine image in which she was made – the human spirit regenerated and prepared to embrace the world in all the beauty and goodness it has to offer:

All of us gazing on the Lord’s glory with unveiled faces,
are being transformed from glory to glory
into his very image by the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

We were created to love because it is in us to love, to give because we are moved to give, to do the good because we see the good that can be done – and in all this, never to pay any attention to whether it is abused, appreciated or even noticed.

VI
THE LOVE THAT IS “OF GOD”

This is my commandment:
Love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12

God’s revelation of Himself as a trinity of “Persons” in a relationship of unreserved, self-surrendering Love is of more than theological importance. Fundamentally it asserts that God is not, as most of humanity has assumed, a solitary ego governing
the universe, who creates rules for us to follow in order to win his approval and gain
a reward. Christianity asserts that God is a Mystery of Self-surrendering Love.
In all that God shows us, in all that God asks of us, God seeks to draw us back into
the embrace of the Love which restores the human body, mind and spirit to right order. Then, in the embrace of that Love, we learn to love as we are loved.
There are three dimensions to this Love that is of God:

The Love that is of God
wants to know and honor the integrity of each person,
living creature and element in the natural world.

This is how the Creator loves each element in His creation. This is how the Creator loves us. Although God created us, and our existence is totally dependent upon Him, God does not use or manipulate us. God knows and honors the integrity of our person: our thoughts, our dreams, our fears, our strengths, our weaknesses, and the work we are given to do. Experiencing ourselves so loved by God, we are called to extend this same love to others. And further to extend it to the various creatures and elements in the world around us. The Love that is of God wants to know and honor the integrity
of who another person is: their thoughts, dreams, fears, hopes, strengths, weaknesses, and the work they are called to do. The Love that is of God wants to know and honor the integrity of each creature or element it engages in the natural world.

The Love that is of God
understands and respects the relationship
that each person has with others,
and that each creature and element
has with other creatures and elements in the natural world.

This is how God loves each element in His creation. This is how God loves us. God understands our connection to our family, our friends, and those with whom we work. God understands our need for food, clothing, and shelter, as well as for tenderness and affection, and productive labor. God does not seek to destroy these relationships but to honor them and bring them into right order. Being so loved, we are called to do the same with our fellow human beings, and with the elements of the natural world around us. The Love that is of God never seeks to manipulate or destroy someone’s relationships with others. Rather it seeks to preserve and strengthen them. The Love that is of God wants to understand how each element in the natural world is linked in
a vital way with each other element, and would never act in a way that would threaten or violate this living bond.

The Love that is of God
is moved to contribute constantly
to preserve and enhance the life of each person,
creature or element in the natural world.

This is how God loves each element in His creation. This is how God loves us.
God puts what we need in the path of our experience and understanding. Often it stretches us to see it and lay hold of it. Sometimes we are unable do it alone, and must do it in collaboration with others. In the process we are invited to become more than we have grown accustomed to being. This is by design. Being so loved, we are called to love our fellow human beings, and the creatures and elements of the natural world around us in the same way. The Love that is of God looks for the good in someone
or something. Seeing the good, it is moved (inspired by the Spirit of the Father)
to contribute to it in some way. The Love that is of God never withholds the good
it is moved to do, nor does it withdraw the good once given.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets.
I have come, not to abolish them, but to fulfill them.
Matthew 5:17-18

This gives us a whole new way of viewing God’s Commandments. Human beings
and the elements of the natural world have an integrity. This integrity commands respect. They also have a created connection to one another that preserves in them
a balance of life and health. This connection commands respect. The same is true
of God. God has an integrity that commands respect. God also has a created connection to every person, creature and element in His creation, as God seeks
to preserve it in a balance of life and health.

The Commandments train us to recognize and honor the integrity of God, and each person and element in the natural world. The Commandments prompt us to grow
in our understanding of and respect for the created relationship that God, every person
and every element in the natural world has with one another. The Commandments urge us to receive the Love God extends to us and to contribute to and enhance the unfolding of the full potential of every person, creature and element we come in contact with. The Commandments provide a path back into right- and life-giving relationship with God, each other, our world and all things in it.

VII
APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING

No more than a branch can bear fruit of itself apart from the vine,
can you bear fruit apart from me. John 15:4

The restored life to which the Commandments lead can only be reached if we follow them in the embrace of the Father’s Love and in the company of the One who expresses the Father’s Love for us perfectly: Jesus, our Lord. Otherwise the human heart fails in the effort, and fear again enters in and takes possession of the human spirit. Then we find ourselves using the commandments not as a path to life but as another weapon with which to assault and manipulate others. Jesus says:

He who obeys the commandments he has from me
is the man who loves me. John 14:21

Many people read this Scripture verse to say that keeping Jesus’ commandments proves that you love him. Actually, Jesus is saying (and the original Greek actually says) just the opposite: You have no hope of being able to keep his commandment
to, “love one another as I have loved you,” unless you are in the embrace of his love – unless you are being loved by him. The verse correctly reads: “The one who obeys the commandments he has from me is the one who is being loved by me.”
His message is clear: you have to be loved in order to be able to love.

VIII
LOVE, THEN, CONSISTS OF THIS…

Love, then, consists of this: not that we have loved God,
but that God has loved us…
God’s love was revealed in our midst in this way:
He sent his only Son into the world
that we might have life through him.
1 John 4:10, 9

You will not be able to love any differently than you experience yourself being loved. This is a universal truth about human life. If you don’t know that you are loved by the Source of your Being, if you don’t consciously open yourself up to receive that Love and personally experience it, then there is no way you are going to be able to truly love another or live in harmony with the natural world. You will only fall back into a fear-based way of being in the world and a suspicion-based way of connecting with the people and things in it. Further, you cannot bring your internal world of body, mind and spirit, or the external world of people and things around you back into right order on your own. If you could love rightly on your own, then you would. And if we could engineer our world back into shape on our own, then we would. We have tried again and again, and failed. The problem lies, as God tells us, in the human heart:

More tortuous than all else is the human heart,
Beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the Lord, alone probe the mind and test the heart… Jeremiah 17:9-10

Acknowledging this truth lays the heart open to God. This is why authentic Christian life begins with an act of humility: a confession of the utter poverty of our love.
This is also why a confession of the poverty of our love begins Christian worship
at Mass:

Lord, it was the intention of my heart
to express love in a word or action.
I felt Your inspiration to do it!
Then something was said or done
that made me question doing it.
I grew afraid and withheld my love –
and something died within me.
Lord, have mercy!

Lord, I expressed my love in word and act,
and I knew the joy of doing it!
Then something happened
that made me question having done it.
I grew suspicious and withdrew what I offered in love –
and a ray of hope died in the world.
Christ, have mercy!

Perfect Love, You cast out all fear.
Take possession of my soul and set me free
to love as I am loved by You.
Lord, have mercy!

May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us
our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

The whole dynamic of Christian worship at Mass is designed to open us up to receive the Love God is offering us in Christ – to be “taken hold of” by it, to be possessed by it.

IX
RECEIVING GOD

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.
Live on in my love. John 15:9

A question arises out of these words of Jesus, a question that cuts to the core
of religious faith:

Have you experienced the love of God for you?

Have you experienced the abiding Love of the One Who is the Source of your Being? Have you experienced the Love that pronounced your soul into existence at the moment the seed and the egg came together in the embrace of your father and mother, and the first embryo of your physical existence was formed? With the passing of time many things can draw you distant from this Love. It can happen with the acquisition of things, or prestige, or power. With the passing of the years many things you experience can make you doubt the existence of this Love: disappointment with
your parents or those upon whom you were dependent, abandonment at a point when you were vulnerable, the experience of betrayal in friendship or love. When you look into your heart, how many brooding complaints do you nurse inside you as a result
of these disappointments. Have they not left you cynical about this Love? Isn’t it time to step beyond your cynicism and to come back to center about what is truly most important in life?

God is present everywhere. But to “receive” God’s presence – to become aware of it, to sense its power, to allow it into our being and therefore to permit it to become powerful in us, with us and through us – requires something on our part.

Receiving the Father’s Love

The Father’s Love, the love of your Creator for you personally, is received simply by asking. You find a time and a place to be alone and in quiet. You examine your heart for all the things in which you hoped you would find fulfillment and peace, and all the people from whom you hoped you would receive a love that filled the void within you, and you humbly acknowledge that none of them were sufficient: all of them left your inner spirit, in some measure, restless. You bow your head and let it fall into your hands, and whisper from the depth of your being:

Father, love me! Let your love break through
all of the barriers I have raised against You,
and let me experience your love for me.

Do this often. Be persistent and don’t give up. The barriers we erect to keep God
at a distance and barred from our awareness can be many, not all of them even known
to us. This prayer of longing desire pierces those barriers and God will not fail
to break through.

Receiving Jesus, the Word of the Father

Awareness of the presence of Jesus and knowledge of him is received simply, in two exercises. First, each day read a short portion of one of the Gospel Accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John). Be in a place where you can be alone and it is quiet.
Before you read, pray within you:

Jesus, Word of the Father,
Who are you?
Make yourself known to me!

Read for about two or three minutes. Then pray again:

Jesus, I want to know you.
Make me conscious of your presence near me.
Help me to sense your thoughts speaking to mine.

Second, before as many things as possible that you have to do during the day, pause and consciously pray in your mind:

Jesus, do this with me.
Focus my attention on what is really going on here.
Hold my tongue, and help me to listen.
Prompt me as to what I should say or how I should act.

Do this before as many things as you can. It will soon become a living habit, and awareness of His presence near you in any situation will grow stronger and stronger.

Receiving the Holy Spirit

Like receiving the presence of the Father’s love for you and the presence of Jesus with you, receiving the Holy Spirit is a function of awareness, attention and confidence.

First, pay attention to the prompting of the Holy Spirit within you. These are the little nudges, the spontaneous inspirations, and the more solid convictions that well up within your mind and heart urging you to express affection, voice encouragement,
or do something good or just. You need to know that these are caused by the Spirit
of the Father, the Holy Spirit seated within you. Do not ignore them. Pay attention
to them and move with them: express the love that you are moved to express, even where it may not be welcomed. Do the good that you are moved to do, even when
it will not be appreciated. For a Christian to intentionally ignore these promptings is
a sin of omission, and to push them aside out of anger, resentment or bitterness is
a descent into the old darkness that holds the world in bondage.

Second, stop complaining about people that are dysfunctional and situations that are bad. Instead, in the face of them, do something good, and do it in the name of Jesus.

In the name of Jesus, I offer this word (or act)
to the power of God’s Spirit!

Then watch. Pay attention to the effect that the good you do has on the situation. Perhaps it will appear almost insignificant at first, but study the faces and body language of the people around you. The power of the Holy Spirit has taken up the good you said or did and is at work within them. This is what Peter did when he encountered the cripple on his way into the Temple to pray (see Acts 3:1-8). If you have been complaining about someone or something, go back and say or do something good, and do it in the name of Jesus. If you do this often enough you will begin
to recognize how many powerful ways the Holy Spirit takes up the good that you
do and works with it. You will be amazed. You will grow in confidence that the Spirit of the Father surrounds every good word you say and every good work you
do when you consecrate it to God and His healing will.

X
THE ONE WHO BELIEVES HAS ETERNAL LIFE
John 6:47

May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith,
and may charity be the root and foundation of your life.
Thus you will be able to grasp fully, with all the holy ones,
the height and depth of Christ’s love,
and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge,
so that you may attain to the fullness of God himself.
Ephesians 3:17-19

Faith asks that we believe that the Creator and Source of our Being loves us and that He has entered this world in the person of His Son to express the depth of His love for us. Faith asks that we receive His Love and invite it to take possession of us. Faith asks that we allow His Love to not only work in us but through us – pouring out into lives of those we meet and on to the elements of creation we handle.

Faith asks that we love as we have been loved – never withholding the gift of self God inspires us to give or withdrawing Love’s gift once given. Faith believes that this unreserved gift of self, born out of God’s love for us, always returns to the giver infinitely multiplied. Every act of Love leaves us changed – greater in soul and more deeply in communion with the Source of Our Being and with all things that surround us. Faith believes that every man and woman was created to be such a soul, and can become such a soul. Faith invites every man and woman to do so.

There are in the end three things that last:
Faith, Hope, and Love,
and the greatest of these is Love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Preface

I give you thanks, O Lord,
that I am fearfully, wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

In all of the universe that we have thus far been able to view with our sophisticated technology, Earth is the only place where the stuff of creation has achieved conscious awareness, and the ability
to look at itself and talk about what it sees. I am of course talking about you and me – human beings. We are as a whole, and each
of us as individuals is an astounding achievement of creation, unknown at this point to exist anywhere else. We are the only part of creation that can look out and wonder with awe at all the rest
of creation around us. We are the only part of creation that can see the good in something and draw it out so that it can serve the life and the joy of all. We can take a block of wood, fashion a tongue for it, write a song for it, and then sing the song with the wood;
and by so doing draw a whole forest into the song.

The logic behind belief in God is really quite simple. If the stuff
of the universe can produce a creature with the capacities we have, then it is quite reasonable to assume that in the stuff of the universe or behind it is an intelligence that is more than what we are.
And with just a quick look around at the vast expanse of existence, it is quite logical to assume that this intelligence is infinitely more than what we are. What is this intelligence? Who is God?
The question is important because we, along with everything around us, extending to the farthest reaches of what might be,
were fashioned to be a part of the whole by the One Who Is.

“God said…” Is it really so hard to believe that God would reveal something of who God is by speaking? After all, we are the only part of Creation that can ask questions and listen to the answers. God reveals for relationship. Only from God can we learn how
to live in a community of life-giving love with God, with our
fellow human beings, and with the elements of Creation around us.
Only from God can we learn to enter the mystery of being a person.

Father Jim Chelich

The Catholic Faith teaches that…

There is an…order of knowledge, which man
cannot arrive at by his own powers: the order of divine revelation. Through an utterly free decision,
God has revealed Himself and given Himself to man. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #50)

God who reveals Himself and gives Himself to man,
at the same time brings man to superabundant light
as he searches for the ultimate meaning of his life.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church #26)

The invisible God…addresses men and women
as his friends, and moves among them, in order
to invite and receive them into His own company. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #142)

His will was that men and women should have access to the Father,
through Christ, the Word made flesh,
in the Holy Spirit,
and thus become sharers in the divine nature. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #51)