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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Where Is God?

St. Bonaventure said many amazing things, including this: God is an intelligible space whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere... God is within all things, but not enclosed, outside all things but not excluded, above all things but not aloof, below all things but not debased... God is supremely one and all-inclusive.

Acts 17:27-28 states: So that they should seek and search after God, and find him by means of his creations, because he is not far from any one of us; For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as some of your wise men have said, for we are his kindred.

I could give hundreds and hundreds of references saying similar things. God is here, now, with us, in us. We may turn and act as if we are alone, but we are not. We may have forgotten, but God is still present. God is The Present our soul longs for.

So much of "modern" life keeps us busy with nothingness, so that few of us seem to have time to sit quietly listening, watching, being. The path of the mystics, the deep path requires some investment in what does matter and turning from what does not matter.

I love the statement in Acts "find him by means of his creation." That is in alignment with Celtic Christianity that says there are two places to read God - in the scriptures and in nature/creation. I have often been comforted, guided and awakened while contemplating in nature. One such time was a couple of months after my husband had died suddenly of an aneurysm in the main artery of his brain (many years ago). I was in the mountains on a retreat, but I just couldn't participate, so I went outside to be away from people. I sat on a rock and just was there with an evergreen tree. I was pondering why he had died, what happened, etc. Suddenly I heard a message - Your life is like this tree. Some people just stop by and caress your branches (as the butterfly I watched). Some run around quickly and leave (as the squirrel I had just met). Some build a nest and stay awhile (as the birds I was watching). None stay with you the whole way except for yourself and Me.

Where is God? Here. With us. In us. We live in the Presence of God. Whatever we do or say or think is done in the Presence. The catch is we have to listen, watch, be still, be in the moment, believe. I also know that part of the deeper path requires kindness and compassionate participation in making the world a better place for everyone. I am sure that James is right that faith without works is nothing, In fact, I wrote an entire chapter about his book and point of view in my latest book and found a formula for living in it. He tells us how to live the Christ Light, be it, show up as a point where God can be known.

Here on Christmas Eve, the Present awaits. Open the Present from your Kin, the Divine Presence.

Lead me to the quiet place wherein I may find You. Clear my eyes so that I see the meaningless and release it from my life. Show me the meaningful things that You would have me do. 

Guide me to receive The Present which is You and so live a Christ-filled life.

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