05-12-2019 "Ways to Give Meaning to the Word God"

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary-St. Richard Catholic Church
Journey of Faith
MAY 12, 2019 - FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SAFE RELEASE OF LEAH SHARIBU AND OTHERS WHO ARE HELD CAPTIVE BECAUSE THEY REFUSE TO RENOUNCE THEIR CHRISTIAN FAITH
Opening Prayer
Scripture Readings
"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.”

― Fr. Thomas Merton , OCSO (d. 1968)
"WAYS TO GIVE MEANING TO THE WORD GOD"
What When and where do you experience God?

Thomas Hart, in his book Spiritual Quest, defines spirituality as “our lived relationship with Mystery.” For Catholic Christians, this “Mystery” is our Triune God, who is most revealed to us in the teachings, life, and person of Jesus the Christ through the Holy Spirit. Hart suggests the following “eight ways to give meaning to the word God, based on experiences available to us all,” for God is at the heart of all reality:

1. God is the source of reality. In God, “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). God brings forth, nourishes, and sustains all of creation.

2. God is the Object of our deepest longing. Our ultimate desire is for more than what our finite existence can offer; it is the desire for the infinite God.

3. God is the Assurance of meaning, value, purpose. God’s thoughts and ways are beyond our thoughts and ways (Is 55:8). Even when we cannot understand the purpose or meaning of life, we can trust that God, who is ultimate love and goodness, has a plan for all creation, and that this plan will be realized.

4. God is at the depth in things, the Mystery in the background: God is at the “horizon” of our experience. It is against “the background of God that we apprehend the particularity and inadequacy of everything we encounter in the world.” God is experienced at the depth of all creation. For example, the body and blood of Christ are experienced at the depth of the consecrated bread and wine that we celebrate during the Eucharist. The Holy Spirit indwells within the depth of our own being.

5. God is the power on which we rely. “We call out to whatever can save us or help us when we feel our smallness or weakness.” We instinctively call out to God when we experience our limitations.

6. God is the font of beauty, goodness, truth, love. God is the source of everything, but whose presence is especially evident wherever we experience beauty, goodness, truth, and love.

7. God is the silent presence deep within us. “Deep inside us, well below the surface of our ordinary consciousness and usual mental activity is a place incredibly still,” the “Quiet Presence” of God at the very core of our being. We can rest in this “Presence” when we let go of our thoughts, just quietly “being” in the present moment, and let God be God.

8. God is the call to do the good, to be responsible. Something within us keeps prompting us to do the good. Our conscience is one of the strongest indications of God’s presence within us.  
Reflect on Your Experience
How and when have any of the eight ways listed above given meaning to the word God for you? 
U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults   Catecismo Catolico de Los Estadios Unidos para los Adultos  
Compendium on the Social Doctrine of the Church    Compendio de la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia
Videos
"Faith, Mysticism, and Prayer" (Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB)

"Experience of God in Contemplative Prayer" (Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO)

"The Five Levels of Consciousness and Centering Prayer" (Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO)

"Planet Earth"

"Why We Love Our Mothers"
Music
"Still"

"Through It All

"You Are My Hiding Place"
Other Resources
"Finding God in All Things"

"Consciousness and the Mind of Christ"

"A Stronger Prayer Life: The Presence of God"

"Finding God in the Midst of Chaos"

"Why is Self-Awareness So Important?"

"Awareness of God"

"Some Relationships are Nurtured in Silence"

"Catholic Spirituality in Practice" (C 21 - Boston College)

Other Prayer and Spiritual Practices

Social Services and Other Charitable Resources

Other Resources on Catholic Social Teaching
Reflection
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