This article is the second one in a series about the Catholic creed. It speaks about God throughout history and how He is probably best understood with the heart. The text is adapted from an article in Spanish by Avaro Lobo SJ, which is published on the website Pastoral SJ. (The link to the original article is available at the end of this article.)
The most thought out idea in history
Perhaps the concept of God is the most thought-out idea in history. It is present in all people and, of course, cultures in some form. In some cases, the concept of God is objectified through idols that limit it or in ideas that freeze it. In others explicitly denied, and for many of us trying to approach it as well as we can. Our original vision comes from the Jewish people, who took many years to discover, through trial and error, what God is like, until they came to Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, it is impossible to reduce God to an idea, because his presence always disconcerts and surprises us.
Many support their lack of faith in their inability to experience God through the senses
God is transcendent. That is, we cannot know him through the senses, as we do with water, air, or the human body. This is important to say, because many people are obsessed and support their lack of faith in their inability to see Him, touch Him or feel Him. Just because we can’t see something, it doesn’t mean it ceases to exist. There are many realities present in our lives that we cannot objectify and yet we all know that they are very present. But on the other hand, He is omnipresent, He is present within each person. Every human being is a priceless treasure because, among other things, He dwells within us. He is the motive of our conscience, but also in the spirit of service and in our capacity to love.
Understanding God with reason and the heart
We Christians understand God as the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Based on studies, experience and review of the Bible, theologians came to formulate how in God there are three persons, who interact and help us understand how God’s love is and how they are present in the world. After all, the Jewish people discovered in God a close and merciful protector who continues to this day thanks to the Father who protected them from their enemies, the Son who taught them the true and perfect face of God, and the Spirit who guided and encouraged them at all times. Three persons and one God. Community and identity. So simple and so complicated.
To understand God through reason is necessary – and there is theology – but it is not easy because you cannot enclose Him to our ideas and categories. There is one part that will always be a mystery to us, otherwise it would not be God. Perhaps the best way to understand Him is with the heart, and to assume that deep down there is someone who looks at us with mercy and loves us madly.
Based on the original Spanish text written by: Alvaro Lobo, sj
Translated by: Ms Maria Zammit