Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The search adventure

Life is a constant seeking for answers to quests, questions and uncertainties, particularly in relation to the Great Beyond, or to the God of the Universe.  Questions have frequently lured the youthful mind on the state of suffering in the world, and why a caring God seemingly does not care about the plight of the poor or why innocent persons become victims of violence and injustice.  This points to one’s knowledge of the nature of God or one’s ignorance of God’s Being, perhaps even asking why the Son of God was born poor and daringly faced the death penalty for a crime He did not commit. Ergo, the search for the truth
The answers are best found in history: God present in historical revelation and processes, as far back as the Bible stories.  “God manifests himself in time and is present in the processes of history,” Pope Francis said in an interview with Fr. Antonio Spadaro,S.J., in La Civilta Cattolica. The pope added that “A contemplative attitude is necessary…profound peace, spiritual consolation, love of God and love of all things in God.”  The renowned English theologian, Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) was an Anglican priest who was converted and accepted into full communion with Catholicism in 1845 after his studies of the Scripture and the historical writings by the Church Fathers convinced him that the Catholic Church was in closest continuity with the Church that Jesus founded. Likewise, St. Paul and St. Augustine immediately embraced the grace of a change of heart upon encountering the truth of God’s Revelation and lost no time in spreading His Word far and wide. In the same vein, Cardinal Newman wrote 40 books and 21,000 letters. Many others, like the ‘golden-voiced’ Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, American Archbishop, also promoted Jesus’ teachings and Catholic morality through prolific print and broadcast media. 

The adventure of seeking and meeting God continues at various stages of one’s life journey and the history of our world. The great faith of our ancestors can be read in Hebrews 11. God is present in all persons even if their life is destroyed by drugs or vices.  God is present in events, especially the disturbing and painful ones that serve to strengthen our faith and fuel the spiritual thirst for communion with the God of Love. We can, and must try to seek, discern, contemplate God in every human life, and trust that God will set the encounter, in His own time, as long as there is truth and love in the heart. The German Jewish convert to Catholicism, St. Teresa Benedict of the Cross, OCD (Edith Stein), wrote: “He who seeks the truth, seeks God, whether he is aware of it or not.  Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth.”

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