Loving God: April 2008 Archives

Not really. Instead I had a creepy little dream in which a very punked out proto-goth androgyne was taking me somewhere for some unspecified but distinctly unsavory or unpleasant rendezvous. He asked me, "Haven't you ever defied God?"

I answered, "Of course I have. All the time. But. . ." and fortunately that little walk came to a screeching halt with the sound of the alarm.

But the question and its circumstances were salutary and rewarding because it caused me to think that while I do defy God and while I do sin and ignore the things I ought to do, and while I am imperfect in the practice of my faith and even in holding the central principles of it, nevertheless, I always do what I do knowing that God exists. That may not seem like much, but when I got down under the skin of that statement, I realized that it is not possible for me NOT to believe in God. Despite all of the arguments I have read and those I can dream up myself, the existence of God is more proven to me than any proven fact or visible reality. God exists. I know that is belief, but I have discovered the place that Mortimer Adler describes when he says that belief can be the strongest knowledge there is.

So it is for me. I cannot choose to not believe in God or to act as though I don't believe in Him. I can choose to do what I want anyway. I can choose to go against the law I know to be true. (And I frequently do both of these things.) But I can't say, "There is no God and so I'm free to do as I choose." That simply isn't an option.

The odd part is I can't tell you why there is this solid foundation. Or I can tell you why but it would be meaningless to someone who lacked it. Grace. Amazing grace. He has graced me with this gift, this rock to which I always return. I cannot escape from Him, but He is no relentless hound--no, He is an island in a cobalt sea where the breezes play day and night and I am the only person to see and enjoy its pleasant shores--or if I am not alone, the crowds on the island are as vapor and there is neither clamor nor anguish in it. When I stray far from my island, the memory of it always calls me home. It does not follow me, it sings to me and calls me back.

And here is the song I hear (though not necessarily in Dean Martin's voice--but also not necessary NOT in Dean Martin's voice.)

Return to Me

Return to me
Oh my dear I'm so lonely
Hurry back, hurry back
Oh my love hurry back I'm yours

Return to me
For my heart wants you only
Hurry home, hurry home
Won't you please hurry home to my heart

My darling, if I hurt you I'm sorry
Forgive me and please say you are mine

Return to me
Please come back bella mia
Hurry back, hurry home to my arms
To my lips and my heart

Retorna me
Cara mia ti amo
Solo tu, solo tu, solo tu, solo tu
Mio cuore

Yes, God sings that to me--all of it--not that He can err or He can be the cause of my straying. But His love is in His kenosis and He, being love, can know that love hurts even when it does not desire to.

(Okay, so my theology isn't so great, I'll admit that. But theology is only as good as the purpose it serves--and if that purpose is to make one cling to God, then the theology, however inexact performs the necessary, life-giving function. We don't get into heaven based on our quiz scores.)

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Yesterday, while driving home from work, the subject of Sunday's homily came up. I was surprised because when one of our priests starts speaking it is a signal for the shields to go up and to warp out of there for the brief span of the homily. There's nothing really wrong--the homilies just tend to be long and picaresque, bearing little or no resemblance to the passages that we had just heard. I attribute this to the Priest's advanced age and his 60's-type delivery and his own rather leftist political agenda.

In the course of the homily the Priest misspoke. I am certain, from what I know of him that he did not mean it when he said, "God created an imperfect world."

On the way home (to get back to the point) Sam said, "You know, when Fr. X said that God created an imperfect world, he was wrong. God created a perfect world and then they eated the apple and everything went all wrong."

Even if he's having trouble with English verb conjugations, he got the theological nicety correct. God did not create an imperfect world. His creation is perfect, our disobedience corrupted it and brought it all down with us.

I've often pondered why this should be so--why would Adam's disobedience affect the world of cats and dogs? Why is this necessarily so?

And it occurred to me, that it is, once more, a sign of His love for us. Humanity could not exist in a perfect world because of its own imperfection. It would be a constant stimulus to envy, jealousy, and destruction. The food of such a world would be like poison to us.

Regardless of why it is so, Samuel understood the concept of the fall and applied it better than our Priest in his homily. (Which is, as I noted, unsurprising. This particular Priest has more "off" than "on" homilies, but he has a loving and gracious heart and he works hard for all of us at a time in life when he is certainly entitled to rest, take it easy, and enjoy life.)

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Loving God category from April 2008.

Loving God: January 2007 is the previous archive.

Loving God: August 2008 is the next archive.

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