Talking (or not) about God

How many times have we talked about God in the course of our lives! The meaning of his name was explained to us in catechism classes; our elders taught us to pray to him; we still hear many things in his favour or against him; we have included him in our conversations to clarify the meaning of what is happening in the world; we have invoked him in our needs to make up for our impotence; perhaps we have feared him when we see ourselves as sinners; we have ignored him out of inertia or carelessness…. We have also believed in him; we have confessed him; we have studied him; we have preached him; we have defended him against atheists or agnostics; possibly we have also doubted his existence at some point… but few of us can say that we have loved him with that tenderness and intensity that only a lover knows.

If we meditate a little on these various uses we have made or continue to make of the name of God, we can trace some evidence:

– Sometimes, the God we speak of is reduced to a mere topic of conversation and little more. We represent him under a set of ideas and perceptions that we need. Because the complexity of life demands an explanation with some logic. And so God is an idea, always susceptible to being changed for another, if it doesn’t work.

– At other times, the name God is transformed into a weapon of attack or defence. We use it to mark distances and to erect barriers, to hurt or to ridicule, to defend or to counterattack, or perhaps to protect us in adversity. But that is not the God of love, but the God of war.

– For many, perhaps more now than ever before, God is either a feeling or not real or important at all. We seek to “experience God”. Either it moves, excites and gratifies, or it is insignificant. And insignificant is very close to non-existent and trivial.

– God is also a dustbin in which to throw the negative, the scandalous, the scandalous, the murky, the depraved of history and of human beings. He serves as a scapegoat to which we direct our complaints and accusations, blaming Him for the bad things that are going wrong and the unfairness of life.

These are wrong ways of dealing with the name of God. Even so, they can mark paths of growth because they lead to purifying crises. They will always be positive if they lead in the end to what a deeply believing poet wrote beautifully:

“I have loved God as one who, with a child’s heart,

seeks deep laps in which to rest,

I have loved God as a young girl loves a man”.

According to this, to say that we believe in God is too little. It is about loving him, not thinking about him. Loving someone is more than believing in his existence. If we do not love him, we would do better to keep quiet, as the second commandment wisely dictates.


Juan Carlos cmf

(PHOTO: Gonzalo Gutiérrez)


Man in the image of Christ reaching out his hand, dark background. Belief in god, christian faith

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