Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The image of God

I just want to put up a quick thought that stroke me today while I was reading a book by Yves Congar OP, one of the leading theologians of the last century. It is the book "Jesus Christ" which was first published in 1965.

What truck me was that he very well describes the reaction of a lot of people who are against Christianity or who are not interested. It are reactions like "God - so what? I prefer ordinary men to church goers. Religion is just a flee from the real life etc. etc."

It being written more than 40 years ago, I was impressed how much the same the reaction is! (at least in my home country) The reason for this can be that although excuses are made, that those excuses are not the real reasons but that there is a deeper issue: they don't really want God... (Congar quotes 1 Sam 8:7, "they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them".

Why don't they want God? Well, my own thought on this was that they might see him as a king, but in a wrong way and not as the real God is. You don't want somebody if you don't like him, or think you don't like him. So if the perception of God is a bad one than a logical result is that they are not interested in knowing Him.

It puts me to think and if this is true, which seems very plausible in my eyes, it means that a lot of work has to be done in re-explaining who God is...

Just a thought...

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Baptism, confirmation and holy communion

We had a very joyful even today at mass as we received a young woman into the Church. I have been involved in the cathecetical preparations over the last few months, and it was a real joy to now finally receive her in our Church!

I also think it is a great witness for all of us if a young person chooses to be received into the Church. It is maybe often said that the Church is dead or dying, but those events show us that God is calling people to his flock, but that we only have to listen to His voice.

I can remember my own reception into the Church, and the indescribable joy and awe I felt

when I received the Eucharist the first time. My Lord really came to me, truly present in the form of the Eucharistic bread, to live in me, and to stay with me! I only had to accept Him!
This straight away reminds me that I, or indeed we, should never take to Mass and the Eucharist for granted, that it should never become a habit. It is special every time, every time Our Lord comes to us in the Eucharist. Every time he knocks on the door, it is up to me to open and let Him have a meal with me and not to let Him stand in the coldness of my lukewarm heart!

Also, my parents visited me here in Ireland last week. It was a very nice time, and I really enjoyed having them around. I was able to show them a small bit of the life I am living here, which I think was very important for them to understand better what I am doing, and also to see that I am in a good place.

During the visit they made a very interesting comment, which very nicely ties in with the above. They said that in the Netherlands people were encouraged to go and join a church congregation and so to improve their life. It was publicly acknowledged that people who are parts of a faith community find fellowship and have a aim in life. This helps then against depression, suicide etc.

However, the important aspect in my eyes is that a mainly secular society sees the positive effect of faith in people. They might not as yet acknowledge that it is because people start to know God, and that God is really and truly alive and among us, but there is a first recognition of something, even that in their eyes they put it to human/psychological reasons and (not yet) to supernatural.

This again is one sign that excites me, and I am really looking forward to the future! There is stir in the water...

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The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


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