The existence and presence of God is the foundation of my belief and my spiritual life.
I believe God is the creator and sustainer of all that is.
I believe God is Love.
I believe the greatest commandment is to love God, and love each other.
I could stop right here. No need to struggle with head-scratching theology. No need to argue over how best to show our love for God. No need to fight over the logistics of loving each other.
Belief in a divine power unites humanity across the miles and across time.
I NEED to believe in a higher power. A LOVING power that brings order to the universe.
I cannot believe in a judgmental God, vengeful, ready to flood the earth because we’ve pissed God off.
Belief in God should unite us. Yes, we all come from diverse backgrounds. Diverse cultures. Our image of God may differ, but God is big enough to accommodate all.
BELIEF IN GOD SHOULD UNITE, NOT DIVIDE US
I believe that I can sit side by side with other God believers and raise prayers together and our prayers will be heard. I was inspired when Pope John Paul II did this for the first time in Assisi. It didn’t surprise me that traditionalists opposed this, thinking it somehow fouled the purity of the one and only Catholic church.
My belief has been formed within the Catholic faith, but I believe that no one has a monopoly on God.
This is my bare-bones belief. The starting point. The foundational stone. It requires much more exploration and pondering than a few words typed into a blog post. It’s but a start….
4 thoughts on “I believe in… God”
Love God…neighbour. We are taught to look “up” at God through the prism of institution; to look “across” at neighbour both through the prism of institution. While our church is a gift almost beyond belief, it is also “beyond belief”. That prism sadly distorts in many respects. Deliberately. Knowingly. In some respects historically innocent but knowingly now to be in error but refuses to repent and reform. To realize this is to begin to understand why the Church wants us to believe that we are “at war with secularism”, the secular.
“Charity” and “social doctrine” included, the church cannot or will not acknowledge in any profundity that we are “in the image and likeness of God”. Even “charity” is conditional upon its prism.
I recall as a kid being told that Gordie Howe and his ilk elevated their skills from “good” to “great” because of their peripheral vision. As I age I try to keep my eye on the message/Messenger and institution in my peripheral vision.
I’ve spent many years and many words ranting about the weaknesses of our institutional church. And, I’m sure that I will continue to do so! For this project of “I believe in…”, I really want/need to refocus on the core of my beliefs. To spend some time soul searching, and learning from other souls on a similar journey.
Keeping the institution in my peripheral vision is a good way to put it, Dennis. Sure, it will sneak into our pondering and discussion. How can it not? But I do hope it is not the focus.
I don’t mean to rant against the Institution but rather, as you suggest, a contribution to refocus on the core as a legitimate personal journey. I am reminded of the “Three Marys” at the tomb of Jesus: “He is not here. He has risen”. Of course the tomb is still important; it has a kind of solidity, permanence, a “container” with meaning, somewhere to go to for counsel (the angel?), contemplation, centering, sacred physical space. That messenger didn’t have the answer, didn’t “direct” them, just a respectful delivery of the essence (Jesus is “oot and aboot”) and a legitimization for them to search, quest. I’m sure the women didn’t understand; certainly the men didn’t believe or understand so they started out to find…
The kingdom of God is within and among us.
“I believe that no one has a monopoly on God.” Yes, Isabella. I join you in this belief. AND therefore I believe in dialogue and respect for those with other perspectives. It’s not about trying to convert them to my side. But instead, to try to understand, acknowledge, and honor that we are all on a journey seeking God.
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