All the way to God

John Kirvan wrote in Silent Hope “…it is God all the way to God. God doesn’t stand waiting for us till we reach the heights. God is no less present to us beginners on the first day of our journey than he is to those whose journey has brought them to the soul’s highest possibilities.”

We see God much as Michelangelo depicted Him on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel: A stern, bearded man with His finger touching the finger of Adam or with His arms outstretched dividing the waters. Of course, the image is entirely contrived since no one, least of all, Michelangelo, has ever seen God, but it does serve to help us accept His existence and His power to create.

Our minds simply cannot fathom the all-encompassing presence of God, but we try anyway. We try and we try without success. It would appear as though we are incapable of quelling our insatiable desire to know God and simply to accept His love as it is given, fully and unconditionally.

A fourteenth century mystic wrote in The Cloud of Unknowing of an old monk who tells a young seeker “God who is our maker forever escapes our power to know. But he is forever accessible to our power to love. The power of love in each of us individually is great enough to reach him who is without limits, who forever escapes the power of our mind.”

Perhaps what we fail to grasp is bound up within the words “…it is God all the way to God.” We have all heard it said that God is always present, that He is everywhere and every when. But how much do we understand or how far are we willing to go to accept the totality of what that concept defines? We can conceive of God’s presence as a hidden camera capturing every moment of our lives but is that the essential essence of God’s presence? God is bigger … and smaller … than that.

We have, with the assistance of technology, delved into the incredibility miniscule world of the atom, molecule, and smaller particles of which we are composed. No doubt, our inquisitive minds will continue to discover even more infinitesimally tiny bits of ourselves. And while we have searched for the unseen we have also enlarged our knowledge of the universe, spread across vast distances. Everywhere we look, everywhere, no matter how small or how large, God is there.

We were created by God to live our lives for His glory. God has a plan for each of us, a purpose for which we are to strive with all that He has given us. As the old monk tells the young seeker:

There are things that God and only God can do. And we have to let go and let God do them. But if we work hard, if we press on in the task of leaving behind all that stands between us and God, then God, I promise you, will not fail you. But he is waiting for us to do our part.

Do not try to help him along, lest you spoil what he is attempting to do in and for you. You be the wood, he the carpenter; you the house, he its master.”

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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