Just a simple parish priest who believes that we are all one in Christ whatever race, ethnicity, class, gender or orientation. An advocate for the poor, the middle class, that the working people. It is time for us to rise up and fight back against the greed of the rich the super rich and the multi-nationals who seek to rob the people of our place in the sun
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Found by God
Facebook friends and others frequently ask me questions about God. Yesterday Dave from the Philippines told me that he's been looking for God all his life. And now that he needs God the most, God seems the furthest away. Dave's beloved uncle died and so in his desolation, Dave reached out half way across the globe in search of the Love that surpasses understanding.
I told Dave the following;
God is much closer to you than you can possibly imagine. God is closer to you than the very next breath you take. Be still before God and allow your spirit to be absolutely still. There will be a very long silence. If you listen closely to your heart and notice your breathing , you will discover that the silence will become a Presence. That Presence will become your Companion for the rest of your life if you wish it to be so. Your Companion is God. Practice God's Presence in the Silence as often as you can and eventually you will notice that Jesus is within you as God's Love is made flesh and blood within your own heart. I suspect you may be looking too hard. God is there in every feeling you have. Remember "Feelings" are God's Angels sent to invite you into growth toward God. Share your questions with me or a Special Companion, a Spiritual Guide or Director...Someone you can trust with your very heart. We call these people our "heart-others", because we can tell them of our hearts and souls and trust ourselves with them
God is to be discovered not in clouds or in the heavens above. God is to be discovered within our own hearts. The deeper we journey within toward the truth of who we are, the deeper will will come to the Truth of who God is.
Remember too that your heart may ache especially in the aftermath of tragedy. There may be a desolation for you. You may feel utterly alone of even bereft. God seems distant as if there were no God. Whatever you feel, God is there within the midst of every feeling that is yours in your loneliness because you are not alone. God is there with you. God is there within you.
It is as you delve into the Silence and listen that the Presence becomes God for you.
There are several passages of Scripture that may be helpful.
"Be still, and know that I am God!" ~Psalm 46:10
The story of Moses at the Burning Bush is the story of a deeply troubled man who had killed an Egyptian soldier. His life wan't worth two cents. It was a matter of time before he would be cut down and return to his ancestors. His people were slaves driven by hard taskmasters.
Then, in his desperate loneliness he came to an amazing sight. It was the famous incident of the Burning Bush. In the pursuing encounter, God reveals that God is the very nature of Being itself, and thus God's Name becomes; "I AM"
Moses at the Burning Bush
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said further, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Then the Lord said, ‘I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ He said, ‘I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.’
The Divine Name Revealed
But Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your ancestors has sent me to you”, and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’He said further, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “I am has sent me to you.”’ God also said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “TheLord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you”:
This is my name for ever,
and this my title for all generations.
Here again is an amazing story of an Epiphany before God; one is which the "sheer silence" becomes the primary experience of God.
Elijah Meets God at Horeb
He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for theLord is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but theLord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but theLord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.
~1 Kings 19
And then there is this proclamation of Jesus, one in which a place apart becomes instrumental to prayer. Jesus liked to go to quiet and deserted places to pray;
‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Remember if you are looking for God, the best way to do so is to be found by God!
At St. Gabriel's, Douglassville, PA, where I currently serve as the interim Priest-in-Charge every business meeting of the congregation begins with a sharing of "Godfinds". These are moments in which the word "God" is more than a three letter word. It is a reality and an experience of Grace that fills our lives. For those attuned to this Reality, the sharing of it becomes essential to life and vitality.
As we move forward to the rediscovery of the "Emerging Church" one of the central functions of such a church will be "finding God", or more exactly "being found by God".
Finally, rest in this assurance; God's love and Blessing are primarily with the poor, the meek, those who mourn and those who are persecuted for the sake of God's Justice.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.