Tag Archives: God

Created good and love by God

Going along in my uncertainties I muddle over questions of life that affect me on the spiritual level. Perhaps others do the same. One of the things that Father Carrón is asking in his 2011 retreat for the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation is: do we recognize that despite our human weakness, or failings, that Christ still loves every part of me? Yes, but not always. Sometimes it is difficult to be aware such an expression of the Other. Why this is so, I am still trying to figure out. Let me know when you get the answer. The Abbot of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico writes a weekly online column which is often insightful. The following is a portion of that column that used for reflection:

Some people are insistent at times, to me, that it is
impossible any longer to lead a truly chaste and celibate life. My general
reply is that it has always been more or less impossible and is only truly
possible when there is a strong faith and a deep commitment to the Lord and a
trust that God will give us the strength that we need. Without a doubt that
have always been failures and there will always be failures, but that is to be
taken for granted in the human condition. Repentance and conversion are a part
of any Christian life and are always values and realities that struggle against
the brokenness that we find within us.

There is no doubt that all of us are
created good and that God always loves us. Our own understanding of ourselves,
though, helps us understand that our goodness has been compromised by others,
by ourselves and by situations outside of our control. The gifts of repentance
and conversion help us in our struggle against all within us that has been

This gift of the capacity to struggle against our brokenness is
one of the gifts of salvation given to us in Christ Jesus. Jesus is a model for
us in His humanity because He lived for truth and for the glory of His Father.
Jesus won and wins salvation for us by giving Himself up to death and by rising
from the dead.

Father Philip,

Abbot of Christ in the Desert Monastery

Saint Hilary of Poitiers

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Saint Hilary worked tirelessly to defend the faith from wrong-thinking Christians, typically called heretics. What follows is Hilary’s teaching on God the Father.

It is the Father from whom everything that exists has been
formed. He is in Christ and through Christ the source of all things. Moreover,
His being is in Himself and He does not derive what He is from anywhere else,
but possesses what He is from Himself and in Himself. He is infinite because He
Himself is not in anything and all things are within Him; He is always outside
of space because He is not restricted; He is always before time because time
comes from Him…. But, God is also present everywhere and is present in His
entirety wherever He is. Thus, He transcends the realm of understanding,
outside of whom nothing exists and of whom eternal being is always
characteristic. This is the true nature of the mystery of God; this is the name
of the impenetrable nature in the Father.

(On the Trinity, Bk. 2, Ch.6; ML 10,
54; FC XXV, 39-40) 

The Liturgical prayer for Saint Hilary may be prayed here.

God Today: With Him or Without Him Everything Changes

Almost two weeks ago Pope Benedict sent a message to the president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, Angelo Cardinal Bagnasco, who is chairing a meeting where the agenda is talking about God, of all things. Well, it beats talking about bishops, nuns and the environment all the time. This topic interests me not in the sense of mere curiosity but because it is taking seriously my seeking the face of God (this topic ought to concern all people who consider themselves Catholic, spiritual and/or religious). To say God interests me sounds like an academic exercise; it is and it is not entirely that. God is interesting to me because seeking God is like no other search I know of, for it concerns my entire self and it intersects all that I do in the world. Is God totally unknowable, the Mystery and desirous of a personal relationship with me (and you)? The Pope makes some great points in these few paragraphs. The curious points are emphasized below.

On the occasion of the Congress “God Today: With or
Without Him Everything Changes,” which is taking place in Rome from
December 10-12, I wish to express to you, venerated Brother, to the Italian
Episcopal Conference and, in particular, to the Committee for the Cultural
Project, my profound appreciation for this important initiative, which
addresses one of the great topics that has always fascinated and questioned the
human spirit.

Vision of John the Evangelist JAlbergno.jpg

The question of God is also central in our time, in which man is
often reduced to one dimension, the “horizontal,” considering
openness to the Transcendent as irrelevant for his life. The relationship with
God, instead, is essential for humanity’s journey
and, as I have had the
occasion to affirm many times, the Church and every Christian, in fact, have
the task to make God present in this world, to attempt to open to men access to

Planned from this perspective is the international event of these days.
The breadth of the approach to the important topic that characterizes the
meeting, will make possible the sketching of a rich and articulated picture of
the question of God, but above all it will be a stimulation for a profound
reflection on God’s place in the culture and life of our time.

On one hand, in
fact, an attempt is being made to show the different ways that lead to
affirming the truth about the existence of God, that God which humanity has
always known in some way, even in the chiaroscuro of his history, and who
revealed himself with the splendor of his face in the covenant with the people
of Israel and, beyond that, in every measure and hope, in a full and definitive
way, in Jesus Christ.

He is the Son of God, the Living who enters into the life
and history of man to illumine him with his grace, with his presence. On the
other hand, the desire is precisely to bring to light the essential importance
that God has for us, for our personal and social life, for understanding
ourselves and the world, for the hope that illumines our way, for the salvation
that awaits us beyond death

Directed to these objectives are the numerous
interventions, according to the many points of view which will be the object of
study and exchange: from philosophical and theological reflection on the
witness of the great religions; from the impulse to God, which finds its
expression in music, literature, the figurative arts, the cinema and
television; to the development of the sciences, which attempt to read in depth
the mechanisms of nature, fruit of the intelligent work of God the Creator; from
the analysis of the personal experience of God to the consideration of the
social and political dynamics of an already globalized world.

In a cultural and
spiritual situation such as the one we are living in, where the tendency grows
to relegate God to the private sphere, to consider him irrelevant and
superfluous, or to reject him explicitly, it is my heartfelt hope that this
event might at least contribute to disperse that semi-darkness that makes
openness to God precarious and fearful for the men of our time, though he never
ceases to knock on our door

The experiences of the past, although not remote
to us, teach us that when God disappears from man’s horizon, humanity loses its
direction and runs the risk of taking steps to its own destruction
. Faith in
God opens man to the horizon of certain hope, which does not disappoint
; it
indicates a solid foundation on which to base life without fear; it calls for
abandoning oneself with confidence in the hands of the Love which sustains the

To you, cardinal, to all those who have contributed to prepare this
congress, to the speakers and to all the participants I express my cordial
greeting with the desire for the full success of the initiative. I support the
works with prayer and with my apostolic blessing, propitiator of that light
from on High, which makes us capable of finding God, our treasure and our hope.

The essence and undivided nature of charity by John Duns Scotus


The second reading in the Office of Readings from today’s liturgical memorial [even though it is Sunday in 2009 and Sunday takes precedence over saints’ memorials] of Blessed John Duns Scotus bears posting here. What appears to be vague really is dead-on in thinking about charity and justice. Emphasis mine.

Charity is defined as the habit by which God becomes the object of our love. However, God could become the object of a kind of private love, such as that of a lover intolerant of any other lovers besides himself (as for example in the case of a jealous man in love with a woman). But a habit of this kind would be both inordinate and imperfect.

It would be inordinate because God, the good of all, does not want to be the private good of any one person, not does right reason allow one person to appropriate to himself this common good. It follows that a love that tends to regard this common good exclusively as its own property, neither to be loved nor possessed by any other, is an inordinate love.
It would also be imperfect because a person who loves perfectly wants his beloved to be loved. Therefore God, in infusing the habit of charity by which the soul tends towards Him in an orderly and perfect way, gives a habit by which He is loved as the common good to be co-loved by others as well. And thus this habit which is of God, leads an individual to want God to be held dear and to be loved also by others.
Therefore, just as this habit leads a person to love God in Himself in an orderly and perfect way, so also it leads him to want God to be loved not only by the person himself but also by anyone else whose friendship is pleasing to Him.
It is clear from this how the habit of charity must be single and undivided, because it does not concern itself in the first instance with a plurality of objects, but with God alone as the primary object and as the first good. Secondarily it then wants God to be loved and to possessed in love by everyone else to the utmost of his power, because it is in this that a perfect and orderly love of God consists. And in willing this, I love both myself and my neighbor in charity, willing, that is, for both of us the desire and the possession of God in Himself through love.
Hence it is evident that it is by one and the same act that I want God and that I want you to want God. And in this my love is a love of charity, because out this love I desire a good for you which is due to you in justice.
For this reason, my neighbor is not to be regarded as a second object of charity but rather as an object that is entirely incidental, because he is someone who is capable of co-loving the Beloved with me in a perfect and orderly way; and I love him precisely so that he can become a co-lover. In this I love him as it were incidentally, not for himself, but because of the object which I want to be co-loved by him. And in wanting that object to be co-loved by him, I implicitly want what is good for him because it is due to him in justice.

The Difference God Makes: A Catholic Vision of Faith, Communion and Culture

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Join us for a dialogue with Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. on the publication of

The Difference God Makes: A Catholic Vision of Faith,
Communion, and Culture


Moderated by Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete,

Author, Columnist


Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 7:00PM

The Metropolitan Club, 1 East 60th Street (corner of 5th
Avenue), NYC

·RSVP AND PROPER ATTIRE REQUIRED. No T-shirts, sneakers, or jeans. For men, jackets and ties required. Clerical
dress or religious habits permitted. 

·To make a reservation, send an e-mail to RSVP@crossroadsnyc.com with
full name and address.

Presented by Crossroads Cultural Center, The American Bible
and The Lumen Christi Institute

Francis E. George.jpg

His Eminence, Francis Cardinal George, 72, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Chicago since 1997, is widely
recognized as a leading intellectual figure in the American Catholic
hierarchy. His new book, The Difference God Makes: A Catholic
Vision of Faith, Communion, and Culture
, brings together some of his most
influential writings on the Catholic vision — not just of the Church herself,
but also of all the peoples of the world. 

Weaving together intellectual insight and personal wisdom,
this investigation offers a luminous Catholic vision of communion, illustrating
the Church’s relation to numerous religions as well as the secular
world.  Drawing from both the author’s observations of Catholicism in
cultures around the globe and countless theologians’ perspectives–including
Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Thomas Aquinas, and Francis of Assisi–this
analysis demonstrates how to recognize the self-giving, liberating God who
provides freedom from the competitive, oppressive gods of secular
modernity.  This overview also recalls an assortment of fascinating
stories, from a poignant moment with a non-Christian in Zambia to the humbling
dedication of volunteers who came to observe Pope John Paul II’s visit to
Mexico City.  

Confronting controversial issues head-on, this volume will
inspire Christians everywhere while also offering non-Christians a renewed
understanding of what a lived Christianity means for political and personal
life today.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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