every molecule and atom of our being…

Julian of Norwich, a fourteenth century Benedictine nun and mystic, beautifully describes God’s presence this way: “We are in God and God whom we do not see is in us.”

The Creation of Adam - Michelangelo

The Creation of Adam – Michelangelo

Another point of view, one that is all too commonly held, is that God is out there someplace. Consider that we almost universally look up toward heaven to find Him and down to, well, you know where for you know who.

We read “… God said: ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’ … God created man in his image, in the divine image he created him, male and female he created them” [Gn 1:26-27] and without hesitation and with great hubris we blithely reverse the process and create God in our own image. If this appears to be excessively overstating the case, consider the Creation of Adam that marvelous fresco painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.

Isaiah recounts that “…the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel” [Is 7:14]. Prophetically speaking, ‘Immanuel’, in Hebrew עִמָּנוּאֵל means ‘God is with us’. It would appear that even from the earliest of times, wildly opposing views on the nature of God and His presence among us have occupied our thoughts and intrigued us to no end. But then, for much of human history, the universe revolved around the earth and the earth itself was flat. To borrow a phrase from a popular commercial, “everybody knows that.”

Given that we have so indelicately put God in His place up there, and molded Him to perfectly fit into our own self-image, it is completely baffling to many as to why we cannot carry on a decent conversation with Him whom we have so carefully constructed. After all, He has a mouth just as we do, so why doesn’t He open His and speak to us? It is most certainly a conundrum of the highest order.

Despite what we might believe or wish to believe, we did not create God in our own image. Sorry to disappoint you. God created us and as Jesus promised “… behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” [Mt 28:20], words that tell us that his real, yet invisible presence, will always be with us; echoing the prophesy of Isaiah that ‘God is with us.’

We are filled with God, every molecule and atom of our being, even the insubstantial essence of our soul contains His love and divinity, and we can no more eliminate God from our lives, than we can dissolve or wish our own self into non-existence. As long as we are and will be – and our soul will exist for all eternity – we are intimately bound by His divine gravity, from which there is no escape velocity.

When we consider how closely we are intertwined with God, is it any wonder that we cannot hear Him speak to us? After all, when have you ever heard a single cell speak to you?

Julian of Norwich also said “God is everything that is good and the goodness that everything possesses is God.” God is all that is good, for God is good; and because God is all good, all good that we come to experience must be 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: http://deaconscorner.org. 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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