“Why can’t I see God?"

More often than not, we complain that we do not see God. We lament that we just can’t seem to perceive His Presence in the world. “Really, I’ve never really experienced God,” we so easily conclude, and the ongoing complaint even reaches the point to where we ask, “Where are you, God?” But we don't realize that we don't find Him because we don't search where He is.

I once heard that through one of those top 40 mainstream love songs a person had a complete change of heart and eventually converted.  It just goes to show that Our Lord, who is All-Powerful, can use anything to touch the heart of man, especially if that person is even half open to the grace of God.  Thanks be to God, for there is no limit to His Almighty Power.   

Yet, we must not fail to recognize that this is not the Lord’s usual way of speaking to us. Obviously, it would seem pretty strange if someone told us that they experienced God while being passed out at a club, right?  It would make more sense that one would experience God at Mass or through one of the Sacraments.  However, it seems that we often fall into this common misconception:  We seek God where He cannot be found;  Moreover, we frantically try to fill our hearts with things that have nothing to do with God. 

Does that seem too far-fetched? Let’s put an example to hit this point home.  Is one more likely to encounter the presence of Christ in an experience of beauty or vileness?  In truth or deception?  In goodness or evil?  We would have to say, “Of course, in the experience of what is beautiful, in discovering what is true, in the face of pure goodness one has an authentic encounter with Christ.”  How is it then that we so often put ourselves in sinful situations, the truth is not on our lips, and we seek what is evil rather than what is good?  It doesn’t take more than a mere superficial glance at our lives to realize that the music we listen to doesn’t exactly fall into the category of beauty; nor does it foster within us a desire for God. Our conversations can be easily labeled as the epitome of superficiality.  And the books we read? Their content is not even the least bit uplifting and most of it is not even worth mentioning.

Needless to say, we’ve got some work to do! You see, first and foremost, what you experience with your senses needs to be filtered.  Next, our passions and feelings must be correctly directed.  Finally, your intellect and will must always strive for God and His will for your life.  

We must strive to obtain an “ordered will” that desires only the good.  This is of utmost importance because the will is the most intimate and precious gift that we have.  This brings me to a series of questions in regards to our senses:  What do I allow to enter into me through my sense of hearing?  Do I listen to gossip or do I myself give into gossip?  Do I listen to music that is truly beautiful and that draws me to what is good?

What kind of things do I look at?  Do I contemplate the goodness of creation?  Or is my free time filled with sinful things: violence, lust, or greed?  The truth is, our imagination can’t run wild or be tempted with things that we’ve never seen.  The same kind of questions can be made with our sense of smell, touch, and taste. 

Next, let’s do a quick run-down on our passions and feelings. Is there any kind of similarity between the feelings that arise in my heart and the feelings of the Heart of Christ?  Do I strive to cultivate His affections in me?  When negative feelings invade my heart, do I strive to resist them and cast them out or do I harbor them within?

In this way, little by little, we can advance in our interior life.  Our intellect contemplates the concepts that we have put into our minds.  For example, soon or later, we might be tempted to steal if we are constantly reading books that applaud such a vice.  On the contrary, we will surely encounter Christ if we spend time cultivating our spirit with novels of noble ideals and movies that motivate us to lead a holier life.  If we have the habit of moderating our conversations and the way we express ourselves, then we will never have the problem of saying obscene things in public. 

Perhaps the conclusion is the following:  How can you strive to conform your will and heart to Christ when you surround yourself with sinful things?  The Almighty God can miraculously transform our intellect, our memory, and our will, but if we are truly seeking God shouldn’t we wholeheartedly strive that our entire life is geared towards Him?

May our hearts be pure and simple so that we may discover God in a baby’s giggle, in the sweet song of a nightingale, in the fresh smell of a newly cut lawn.  May our identification with the affections of Christ be reflected in actions full of compassion with those who suffer.  Let us contemplate Our Blessed Mother so that we, like her, may praise Him for the many graces that Our Lord unceasingly imparts upon us.  

Thus, perhaps the person that cannot see God is not simply blind, but his vision is impeded by the evil blindfold of sin. 

Hno.Joaquin Hijo Prodigo

My name is Brother Joaquin Maria of the Cross and I am a Servant Brother of the Home of the Mother. The truth is that I like to use my religious name, because I am truly a new man.
I have never had any major problems of any kind, but still one's heart can be very far from God. I was attracted to things that in themselves are not bad: to succeed in the world, to do great things, to have a family, a wife, children...
I mean, nothing bad. But when God showed me how poor my plans were and the place Heaven he had prepared for me, I left behind my mat and ran after him.
This blog could be called, "From the Paralytic." Because yes, I was a paralytic, a prodigal son. In the world perhaps I had a future... but I prefer paradise. By God's mercy I am now free and I follow Him wholeheartedly.
Since I began to follow Mary's voice, each day is better than the last and if this continues, I'm going to get vertigo.
And that’s what I want to write about.