and fill ourselves with God

Meister Eckhart, a Dominican friar and mystic of the 13th and 14th centuries wrote “Nobody at any time is cut off from God. Whether you go away or return, God never leaves you. God is always present.” No matter how hard you try to push Him away, to shut Him out of your life, “it is impossible to lose God.” And that has to be a most frustrating experience for those who profess no belief in a Creator or for those who are annoyed by the thought of an ever-present, all-seeing, all-knowing God.

Several years ago, a teacher and a dear friend of mine was known to repeatedly remind his students that “God loves you, no matter what!” It’s true and worth the repetition. When we sin we are never cut off from God. He never stops loving us because of what we do or fail to do. He doesn’t stomp His foot and scream “Go Away! I don’t love you anymore!” No, He just smiles, looks at us with those puppy dog eyes and says “I love you, no matter what!” Now that would irritate just about anyone, wouldn’t it? And what is equally important to remember is that His love doesn’t vary with the size or scope of our sin. He simply and unconditionally loves us, no matter what.

That may be difficult for some of us to accept, but then we really can’t help ourselves. After all, we are only human and think in human ways. But God is God and He sees things differently. Although far from a perfect analogy, perhaps one way to understand how God loves us is to look at how a mother loves a child. A mother will love her child no matter what, even if that child is uncommonly ugly, incredibly stupid, or guilty of committing a despicable crime. And so it is with God, only infinitely more so. God doesn’t love the sin, but He does love the sinner.

John Kirvan, author of Silent Hope: Living with the Mystery of God says that “God’s love — we have to repeat constantly to ourselves — is not a conditional love. It does not depend on what we do, but solely on the fact that we are. This is hard for us to believe because we keep measuring God by our standards…”

So if we cannot shut the door on God then why not toss the door away and let God “come on in and set a spell?” If God is always present why not accept Him into our lives and make Him feel welcome?

The problem for many of us is that we have no room for God, nowhere for Him to sit. We have filled our lives with earthly things; we have filled them with lots of ‘stuff’, all kinds of ‘stuff’, and there simply isn’t any room left for Him. As Meister Eckhart wrote some eight hundred years ago “To be full of things is to be empty of God. To be empty of things is to be full of God.”

When we understand that God loves us because we are, and not who we are, then we’re getting close. All we have left to do is empty ourselves of things and fill ourselves with God.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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