Saturday, March 6, 2010

Seeking God, 6th and final part

Seeking God, Part Six
A Reflection for the Lenten Season of 2010
By Rev. Bob Johnnene OFD, Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans of Divine Mercy

I begin this segment of SEEKING GOD series of reflections with the quote from The Second Neurotic's Notebook, by Mignon McLaughlin, published in 1966 "Don't look for God where He is needed most; if you didn't bring Him there, He isn't there."
We began this series with this sentence; "Throughout all of the history of human existence it seems that we humans have sought after and had the need to find that superior thing we often refer to as GOD" and have tried to provide statements and other materials that substantiate this statement.
One of the points I would like to suggest that those who desire to seek God reflect on is the passage from 1 Corinthians 2: verses 9-12 which says; "However, as it is written: No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.   The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us."
It is this passage that I feel confirms what I have felt for so much of my life, that no human being can claim to know why God has done what he has done.  Why God creates some people with disabilities, some with a sexual orientation toward members of their own sex, or why some have an abundance of God's gifts and others have constant struggle to just survive.
I also feel compelled to sum up this series paraphrasing a very famous article written by Francis P. Church, in The New York Sun in 1897 entitled YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUSE.
Here is my Paraphrase of that famous article:
Your  friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they can see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their minds. All minds, whether they be adults or children's, are little.    In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, there is a God. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.
Alas! how dreary would be the world if God did not watch over it.
 It would be as dreary as if there were no flowers, sunshine or laughter.
There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.
We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in God! Even if you do not see God what does that prove?
Nobody sees God, but that is no sign that there is no God.
The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.
Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen in the world like the particles in an Atom.
Only faith, acceptance of Holy Scripture,  poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain of darkness and rejection and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. That is God.
No God, Wrong !  We must thank God for He lived before the universe existed  and will live after it no longer exists. . A thousand years from now, nay 100 times 10,000 years from now, God will continue to make exist and all who have believed and accepted God will be joined with God in that place reserved for those who believe.
Carl Gustav Jung said, "The central neurosis of our time is emptiness. All of us have a deep longing for our life to have meaning and depth." That longing , as we have pointed out in the previous 5 portions of this reflection series is finding that superior thing that is greater than ourselves and giving it honor or praise.
One thing that is required is Faith and Trust.  The dictionary description of faith as;
1 a : allegiance to duty or a person :loyalty. b (1) : fidelity to one's promises  
(2) : sincerity of intentions  2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God  (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust  3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs .
Notice that the first or primary definition is : "allegiance to duty or a person :loyalty" and according to the dictionary allegiance is; "devotion or loyalty to a person, group, or cause" and we all know that devotion is giving honor and praise to something. 
Since the subject of this series has been Seeking God and I believe I have put forth many reasons that we should believe in the existence of God then it follows that we should believe and therefore have devotion to God, by whatever name called,  The Creator, The Supreme Being, Allah, Yahweh, Adonai or Jehovah.
The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self denial to prepare ourselves to become a better person and more "God Like"  or "Christ Like" and ready to celebrate the glory of Easter.
It was in the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, The Son Of God, that Sin was overcome and Forgiveness of our transgressions was achieved along with the possibility of Eternal life with the heavenly elect.
A believe in God is a must for this to be achieved, it does not mean a belief in a particular Religious denomination but a belief in God.  If you believe and follow the truths of that belief and give honor, glory and praise to your God, then you will be among the chosen ones of God.
That is my belief and I hope and pray that this humble series I have tried to put forth which, I pray, was inspired by God through the Holy Spirit, has helped you to find God and to understand why God must be the center of your life.
When God is at the center of your life, you have the ability to overcome all adversity and to cope with all those daily problems.  By believing and talking with God, daily, we gain strength and we begin to reflect God to others.
I ask God to watch over all who have taken to time to read this series and for those who have not and fill them with the knowledge of His infinite love. 
I hope that God will grant me the health, the time and the means to continue to let people know of His divine mercy and Love.
Our ministry is facing challenges due to a financial shortfall but I believe that if it is truly God's will the means to continue will come forth in time to meet our responsibilities..
I close with this Prayer;
Prayer for God's Infinite Love
By Rev. Robert Johnnene OFD, March 24th 2006
Almighty and merciful God, open my mind, my heart, and my soul to your infinite love.  Instill within me the knowledge of your truth.  Guide me in your ways in all the things I do so that I may be unto others a reflection of your love towards them. 
Allow the light of your truth to flow through me towards all I encounter in order that they may come to know you better.  I pray that all those with whom I come in contact with each and every day may be brought into a closer union with you and enjoy your promise of salvation earned through your beloved son, Jesus Christ, in His passion, death, resurrection and ascension.   I humbly ask this in the name of your beloved son, Jesus Christ, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever unto the ages of ages.    AMEN

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