Catechetical Spot

“Who is this God?” Helen Ackermann

 Often Father Al reminds us that our relationship with God is much like the relationship in marriage. We continually grow in our knowledge of the other.  I know this is true even after fifty-one years of marriage.

I think I started out in knowing God in God’s most powerful form.  God was creator to me, God was a judge, God was all powerful and God lived in heaven. I wasn’t sure where that was, but I presume, I like many others, would have pointed up if I were asked where heaven was located. Now I think of it as a state of being.  I also came to think of God as God living within me in the form of the Holy Spirit.  My God became as close to me as my very breath.  God was intimate and personal and I was able to understand God’s nature by meditating on the person of Jesus Christ. Theologians call the God out there, the transcendent God and the God within the imminent God.  As it is with most things, without a balance in thinking or doing, one can encounter some difficulties.

I have recently been reading a book by Father Richard Rohr, titled The Divine Dance, The Trinity and Your Transformation.  It is written with Mike Morrell. The book offers many insights into the meaning of the Blessed Trinity and our interaction with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  One paragraph, however, helped me to realize the necessity and importance of a balance when we contemplate God.

“God must be utterly beyond in order to have any significance within!  It’s a paradox.  When God is only “inside us,” God becomes neutered of transforming power.  I’ve sadly witnessed this in the cheap liberalism of the last forty years, an entire spiritual generation with no ability to kiss the ground, genuflect or kneel; no capacity to bow, honor or worship.” With this paragraph, Rohr points out the danger of not being balanced.  Even when we understand the balance, we must always be ready to realize that our knowledge of God continues as our relationship with God continues to grow until we encounter God after our death in bodily form.  It keeps the relationship exciting, don’t you think?

~by Helen Ackermann