Opening Prayer God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea, Though its waters rage and foam and mountains totter at its surging. Streams of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High. God is in its midst; it shall not be shaken; God will help it at break of day. Be still and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.” The LORD of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Witness Talk: My Quest for God Responses or questions from group For Discussion Share the path of your search for God until this present moment. What are you looking for in your life? What evidence do you see, or have you seen that God is working to reveal God’s self to you and draw you into closer relationship?
In the silence of our pondering and reflection we become aware of the mysterious yearning of the human heart. “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself.” CCC, 27 In many ways, throughout history down to the present day, humans have expressed their search for God in their religious beliefs and behavior: in their prayers, sacrifices, rituals, meditations, and so forth. These forms of religious expression, despite the ambiguities they often bring with them, are so universal that we can certainly call humans religious beings. St. Augustine, a fifth century theologian said, “Our heart is restless, O God, until it rests in you.” How is our quest for God awakened? The catechism presents three paths through which every person can come to God: creation, the human person and Revelation ~ Revelation being the greatest and most essential path.
THROUGH CREATION “Question the beauty of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the beauty of the air distending and diffusing itself, question the beauty of the sky... question all these realities. All respond: ‘See, we are beautiful.’ Their beauty is a profession [confessio]. These beauties are subject to change. Who made them if not the Beautiful One who is not subject to change?”
Created in God’s image and called to know and love him, the person who seeks God discovers certain ways of coming to know him. Created in God’s image and called to know and love him, the person who seeks God discovers certain ways of coming to know him. These are also called proofs for the existence of God These “ways” of approaching God from creation have a twofold point of departure: the physical world and the human person. Throughout the history of the Church, Christians have seen the universe as evidence of God’s existence. The order, harmony and beauty of creation point to an intelligent Creator. The intentionality and purposefulness of creation from the inanimate to human life points to a wise creator.
THROUGH THE HUMAN PERSON All human persons seek to know truth and experience goodness. Moral goodness appeals to us. We hear the voice of our conscience and want to live by it. We long for happiness. These experiences can serve to awaken our souls and our spiritual nature. The more we become aware to these truths, the more we are drawn to the reality of God. These “seeds” of eternity have their origins in God. Why have so many not found God? Presence of suffering and pain can be disheartening and some rebel against a God who would let this happen. Some do not know God or are ignorant of religion and are indifferent to it all together. Sometimes it is the scandalous behavior of believers the drives honest seekers away. Some fill up their lives with so many activities that they little room for God.
Humans attest that they do not contain within themselves neither their first principle nor their end, but rather that they participate in Being itself, which alone is without origin or end. Thus, in different ways, we can come to know that there exists a reality, which is the first cause and final end of all things, a reality we call God.
The third way of coming to know God is through REVELATION. We will devote part of our next session to this topic.
POINTS TO PONDER How is your life a journey towards God? As a seeker how/where do you look for truth? When you hear of truth or behold beauty or experience goodness, what do you think?