Fifty years ago 2,500 bishops met over a period of four years to look deeply into these questions. They were not harassed by an immediate crisis and could take time to consider fundamental questions. Solemnly they wrote, “The Father’s plan was to dignify men and women with a participation in his own divine life.” These words can pass over us and leave us as dry as the season. But if we take time to stop and ponder them they have the power to delight and thrill us.
Christmas we can imagine and the events of Good Friday and Easter too. These are concrete vivid events that lead us into the mystery of God. But behind them all is this enduring invitation; that God did these things in order to invite and draw us to himself and share his life with us. He could not do it without our consent, just as the whole story could not even get off the ground without, first, the consent of Abraham and then the consent of Mary.
This consent is the heart of the matter. Do we want to share in the life of God? Do we want to be filled and satisfied with Life itself? All our yearning and searching and struggle show that we do. But we are sometimes unclear about it all and just do not know where we are going. Clouds are a good symbol of our dilemma.
An unknown medieval author wrote of the “cloud of unknowing” between us and God and she described our task as penetrating that cloud with our love. The Church came in time to believe that there are three “persons” in one God; the Father, the Son and the Spirit. This understanding of God as “Trinity” is not something we can get our minds around as we can, for instance, with questions of science. God is always beyond us.
But it does not mean that we cannot reach out to him through the cloud. It was revealed to Moses that he was a God of “tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness.”
And Jesus revealed to us that “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life.” Such sayings help us to penetrate that cloud and they are yeast for our longing.Post published in: Opinions & Analysis