How do we come to know God in a world that considers Him a construct of man rather than the Creator of mankind? How do we come to really know this person we are called to love, Jesus? And how are we to live in accordance with the Holy Spirit, such that we pull others into deeper relationship with the Holy Trinity which is God?
First, we must cling as never before, as we always should have before, to the scriptures. We have poor memories, so we need constant reminders to really come to hold that knowledge. Further, we are distracted by everything, and to a person, we seek out distractions to add on top of those things that already distract us, so that we might never actually do what we are called to do. Reading the scripture lets us know His words, His thoughts, His way. Reading the scripture gives us an opportunity to hear the thoughts of God, but it is not enough to merely read what has been written. We need to know God.
Sola scriptura is insufficient.
Because we aren’t merely spirits, we have trouble with loving those far away from us, for we cannot love the abstract. We can only love persons. When we do not wish to love someone, we name them as abstractions (clump of cells, Untermensch, 3/5ths of a person) so that we need not treat them with the same dignity warranted a soul. So it is with God, if we keep Him at a distance, He becomes an abstraction and thus we allow ourselves to not love Him. Thus it is that Christ comes and is fully present, giving us his body to touch, to taste, to hold whenever we willingly seek Him at the mass. Being fallen, we do not trust what we cannot touch, taste, see and know on our own. Receiving the body and blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, we get to touch, taste, see and hold our Lord. We cannot get closer than intimately taking into ourselves, our Savior. So we must frequent the sacraments, they bolster our capacity to hear His voice and fill the empty parts of ourselves as nothing else can.
Even with all of these gifts which we may avail ourselves of daily, we need more. For us to remain in real relationship with God, we need even more than the love letters that are the scriptures, or the kisses that are the Eucharist. Prayer in all its forms, rote, petitional and contemplative are the necessary daily communications of our souls to the Divine Soul. No relationship exist where there is no connection, no conversation, no sharing of thoughts. But love is more than talking and eating and listening, love is sacrifice, love is service, willing the good of the other. To know the God who is love, we must sacrifice, we must serve, we must will the good of the other.
We need to actively participate in that love via service. Blessed Mother Teresa knew serving the poor was serving Christ in disguise. To serve God’s people in all of their need, is to be the manna falling in the desert for those wandering and lost for 40 years, to become like the Eucharist, filling others in ways that far transcend the fullness that comes from even the best gourmet food. If we would really know and love God, we must feed His sheep. We must be the food.
Finally, in prayer, in studying His word, in receiving the sacraments and in serving all presented to us, we come to know the God who is love. With each advance in love, our hearts are stretched toward God size as we participate in the work of the Church and act as the hands and feet of Christ. If we do all these things, we will one day be born into Heaven, and on that day, we will, because of our years of gestation here on Earth, know His voice because we could hear it and loved Him before we saw His face.
© 2013. Sherry Antonetti. All Rights Reserved.