I am slowly reading the book “An Introduction To God” by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick. I purposely am taking it a slow pace of about 1-2 chapters per week. I want to take the time to meditate on encountering God.
As an introduction, it is short book of 5 chapters. The 1st chapter is really an introduction to the four main mysteries.
- The Mystery of Jesus Christ: Who is God?
- The Mystery of Worship: Why Go to Church?
- The Mystery of the Church: Whom can we trust?
- The Mystery of Morality: Why Be Moral?
This week my focus is the first of these mysteries “Who is God?”. Very quickly, Father Damick gets to the subject of eternal life. At first, I was curious what this had to do with “Who is God?” Surely, eternal life is an important subject, but how does it relate to the chapter heading? To define eternal life, the author states “Jesus does not say the purpose of our faith is to make us “good people” or that it’s about “going to heaven” when we die. Nor is Christianity about feeling good…Eternal life is to know God the Father and to know Jesus Christ, whom He sent.” (p. 51). But, the question still remains on how this relates to the chapter heading. Going back to earlier in the chapter we see how it fits together. God is uncreated. He states “Who is God? If we were to ask that question of the Church Fathers, we might be faced with a curious answer. Many of the Fathers might first say, ‘There is nothing we can say about God.'” (p. 44-45). The answer to the question “Who is God?” does not have an answer based on knowledge of historical facts. The answer only comes as we encounter God, and eternal life is part of that encounter.
Later in the chapter he deals with the subject of the Incarnation (God becoming flesh). The author states “mankind was not meant to live an isolated existence..we need access to God” (p. 61) To understand “Who is God?”, we must encounter God through the Incarnation. We cannot answer the question through rational thought, through studying, or through knowledge. We can only answer the question by encountering God as He became flesh and became one of us. This is the mystery.
Next “The Mystery of Worship: Why Go to Church?”.
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