Well, here we go: My first non-assignment blog post, and my first public reflection on the Scriptures. God, please help us all.
I try to perform morning and evening prayer each day with the aid of Give Us This Day, a lovely daily prayer book from Liturgical Press. For evening prayer, I write down my thoughts following the evening’s reading as an exercise of lectio divina. I will be posting my past and current reflections periodically here starting today. I hope they provide you reading them with a new and/or invigorating perspective on the inspired Word.
Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 2:10b-13 (you can find all the books of the Catholic Bible [which means the Protestant Bible plus a few books] at http://wwwmigrate.usccb.org/bible/, the website for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops). In it, Paul discusses the Holy Spirit and how this Person of the Trinity allows us insights into God.
What stuck out to me in the reading was the end of the first verse: “[T]he Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.” We often hear about the profound and infinite nature of God, how deep and mysterious and ultimately out of our reach God is. These descriptions of the Divine can leave us (or me, at least) feeling very alone, cut off from a God that is totally beyond us and above us. Paul, however, reminds us that God is far from separated from or disinterested in us. Not only did He literally become fully human in the Person of Jesus Christ, He extended and extends His presence to our souls through the gift of the Holy Spirit. This Spirit helps us to understand God, to experience quite literal “insights” into the nature of that wonderful mystery in Whom we live and move and have our being. The Holy Spirit has also been called the Counselor, and it can act as our most powerful and intimate spiritual counselor, someone Who knows us better than we do and Who certainly knows God better than we do.
On the other hand, we will never fully “know” God. He will always be resting in our hands yet out of our grasp, before our eyes yet greater than our vision, in our hearts and minds yet beyond our wildest dreams and understandings. God is the ultimate mystery. As the theologian Karl Rahner repeatedly emphasized, this is a good thing; if we could write a definitive book on God, no matter how large it might be, He would not compel us and we would move beyond Him. God would not be God without mystery. So here exists one of the many exhilarating (if sometimes frustrating) paradoxes of Christian belief: We can come to know much about God, especially through the Person of the Holy Spirit, but we will never know everything. Aided by each Person of the Trinity, we will plumb “the depths of God” and discover gleaming nuggets of truth and great gems of divine beauty. The best thing, however, is that there will always be more. We will always be digging into the mystery of God with the aid of the Holy Spirit, entranced and captivated by His love and life, even in heaven, I believe. As C.S. Lewis succinctly put it in The Last Battle, “Come further up, come further in!” You’ll always find something new and wonderful to behold. ~
P.S. I’m off to explore a corn maze now. Let’s hope I don’t get too far in to it and miss the bus back to SNC!