The Facts of Life Series: Knowing God Intimately
Belief, any mind, must rest on evidence, on fact, on truth. Otherwise, ideology is just an arbitrary notion, a personal perceptual liking, new ideas that claims it is real and genuine, but which offers no substantiation of its contends.
For a mind without ground is at best a vacuous guess. Even an educated guess, even a succeeding hypothesis equips some modicum of supportive evidence, while purposely limiting the assertion of the hypothesis’ truth claims until further supportive indicate faces. That is why Catholics have been involved in apologetics from the very beginning. The Catholic faith has always vindicated its impressions with rational and practical sign, with revelational and historical evidence, with spiritual and epiphanic evidence.
Despite this width of prove for notion in the Catholic God, conceiving often takes on an idiosyncratic nature based on the personality and circumstances, the intellect and affections of all persons, as they explore the reality of God. Some beings are more instinctive in their approach to God; others are more circumspect about the whole issue. Some look to order and rationality, science and history, while others find emotion and moral most compelling and pulling to their search, just as others find God in charm and altruism, as well as in evil and sin.
But, there is a reality to the search for God, almost every seeker and every supporter forgets or undervalues. And, it remains a constant regardless of individual idiosyncrasies, preferences or interests. That constant, that reality is the fact that God is seeking you , not generally, but specifically, personally. For that is what love does.
God is not a passive entity or some blind and vacate magnetism. He is a being, the perfect being, the manifestation of all truth and all goodness, the prototype of all appeal and all love. He desires each of us and all of us. And, He wants us to know that He exists. That He is real and He is near. That He is active and He is intimate, as intimate as we will let Him.
For there is another kind of knowing about God that is more than evidentiary. This form of knowing encompass the many forms of evidence about God’s existence and His nature and handiwork. But, the committee is also transcends them. Scientific evidence and deductive proofs, morality’s principles and tendencies, beauty’s essence and many manifestations, the martyrs and the saints, the sumptuou and the prosaic aspects of life itself tells us of a mighty and enjoying God, who is truth, goodness and elegance symbolized, who is all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-present.
Yet, this other kind of knowing does not challenge or change any of these. It fulfills them. For prove such as these show us God Himself. His character. His nature. His perfection. But the whole point of this is not mere knowledge or idea. It is your personal friendship with Him. And, His personal intimacy with you.
For He is the God who loves you, searches you, longs for you just as the parent in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal lad. In that learning, the leader scours the range for his rebelliou and lost lad. And, where reference is interprets the lost son, he lopes to him. He embraces the son and kiss him, neglecting the lost son’s apologetic and explanation of votes. He celebrates the son’s return showering him with gifts and celebration, for the son who was lost now is acquired.
This is the God of our proofs and its own history, our heritage and our individual and collective experience. This is our God, a God who loves us amply, perfectly, relentlessly. And, He wants us be brought to return His loving intimacy every moment of “peoples lives”. For he known to be to cherish us separately and perfectly and He wants us to know Him deep , not only to know about Him.
To illustrate the importance and profundity of this idea, my Greek professor in grad school abused his initial lecture to introduce it. He opened class by asking us what the opposite of “knowledge” was. We reacted quite quickly that the opposite of “knowledge” was “ignorance.” You either know anything or you don’t.
But then, he told us that was a Greco-Roman way of thinking about knowledge. Then, he invited, what would St. Paul, who was a Hebrew, have called the opposite of “knowledge.” While we reflected this for a bit, we greeted, though more tentatively than our initial response, with the same answer — “ignorance.”
Once again, he corrected us. He told us, “ignorance” is an information conception that validates “knowledge” as simply that — info. But, to St. Paul, the Hebrew, the opposite of “knowledge” was not “ignorance”, but “estrangement, interpersonal distance, even rebellion.” He went on to explain that both information and estrangement elucidate different ways of knowing, though the informational mode is subsumed by the greater relational practice of knowing. And, they both apply simultaneously when it comes to God. We can know about Him and, at the same time, know Him personally, relationally, closely immediately.
Just as you can know about a person, you can’t certainly know these people until you spend time with them personally. And, the more age you spend, in a variety of circumstances and activities, the more fully and closely you will know them. So too, with God. Knowing about God is not just information, it is an opportunity for an experience of Him and with Him, extremely. For knowledge about God is simultaneously an experience of God.
For example, the study of theology and apologetics, necessitates knowing about God, His existence, His nature. Yet, it is also an opportunity to experience Him directly and immediately, informationally and relationally. This vast, holistic understanding of “knowing” and its concomitant spirituality utters occult encounters possible in the most mundane of environment, in the most intellectual of pleasures, in the mental, psychological, practical times of our regular lives and living.
For not only can we “know about” God in any and all of our activities, we can “know of” Him, as well. We can because that is the way God is and that is the way He stirred us.“Knowing about” Him is “knowing of” Him. And, this proximate, intimate and active God, who longings us to know Him in the most comprehensive relational smell, seeks us firstly, seeks us very, in the general way He does for all His children and in the particular quirky action for each of us as individuals. For He is our perfect cordial Father. And, He wants us to know that too. That He cherishes us perfectly and that He is ever with us.
We likewise recommend Mr. Cronin’s recent journal, The World According to God: The Whole Truth About Life and Living. It is available from your favorite bookstore and through Sophia Institute Press.
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