Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Who "Our Father" Is

Mark Shea witnesses the Church's teaching on who God our Father is.

Catch a glimpse:
But even more than the paradox of God's might being the source of our freedom, the Church sees God's might manifested in the mystery of the Cross. God's strange way of establishing His power "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but in that which is to come" (Eph 1:21) is not by the expedient of refusing to allow bad guys to be born or by sending thunderbolts to fry the wicked. It is, rather, by allowing evil to do its very worst — and then bringing life even out of that. This is why Paul can say that "all things" — even the murder of God incarnate by His own creatures — work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Rom 8:28). For His purposes, even toward His most murderous creatures, remain good.


This means that God's omnipotence also is bound up intimately with His Providence. And His Providence is, in turn, inextricably linked to Him as Creator. When we say that God is "Creator," we are accustomed to thinking of long ago. We imagine a big black field of nothing, then a huge flash of light and wham! — there it all was and that was Creation. Since that primeval event (we imagine) God has basically been moving the pieces around and, every once in a while, doing a miracle of creation (like with the loaves and fishes) just to show He hasn't lost His touch.

In reality, however, the Church believes that God wasn't just Creator then. He is Creator now. That is, nothing that exists could remain in existence for one nanosecond if God did not continuously hold it in existence. God creates ex nihilo (out of nothing). He is not like a human artisan, using pre-existing stuff like wood or clay. He causes not only the form but the matter of all that is, both visible and invisible. And having caused it, He goes on causing it, holding it in being even when (in the case of rational creatures like us or Satan), His creature rejects Him.
God our Father, the Almighty Creator of the Universe, the Fullness of Reality, the Wild One that moves where he wills, desires only that I share in his life. He molded me out of the atoms that compose the stars. He breathed his very life into me. He orchestrates his creation that I might embrace him.

And still, I turn away.

He sent his son into my world. He made his love incarnate in his Word-Made-Flesh, born of the virgin Mary. He used his death, for whom we all bear responsibility, as the very act from which he showers us in his Grace and forgiveness. He pours out his Spirit upon me through the witnesses of his Glory in the Church he raised from the blood of his Son.

And still, I turn away.

Too often, I won't take him seriously. I won't see him for who he is. I then won't see him at all.

I'll see my struggles, disappointments and frustrations. Then I'll see the easy way to sooth my sorrow.

And I'll forget all about the cross.

By his leave do I abuse the very freedom and life he gives me. By his Mercy, and my acceptance of it, I will put away my Reasonable escapism once again seek Communion with him.

Believe in him. Trust in him. Let his love fill the very depths of your heart and soul. Hurl upon him the anger and despair you experience as the world crushes your hopes again and again. Rise out of the dead earth of your chosen failures of Love. Walk with him through his son in the Spirit, living in communion with the entire family he calls to himself through the Mystical Body of his Son.

Give him the very gift only you can give him: you consent to share in his life. Then receive what you've wanted all your life.