what is God like?

Is He a tyrant? Is He kind? Is He a punishing judge? What is God really like? Our history, our education and our culture have probably influenced the image that we have of God. From Him, we cannot know everything, but if you want to know more, we offer you this video.

10 questions about the identity of God

Of course we can. We can because God has left traces of Himself in everything that exists: the splendour and beauty of nature, the amazing complexity of biological phenomena, the sense of what is right that we all carry inside, the nostalgia of perfection that lays in the deepness of our heart; man is naturally able to discover those traces and, following them, he can reach God.

It is amazing to think that we increasingly use our capacities to make ourselves owners of nature and to achieve surprising technological advances, but we don’t use those capacities to reach God. How comes that human intelligence is able to achieve so many technical and scientific progress and does not have the ability to solve the enigma surrounding its life? What happens to the human being, that is a mystery to himself? How can a person go through life without asking about the issue of his or her origin and end and about the meaning of his or her life? Those who hide those issues deep inside and renounce to understand themselves are self-condemned to live a life less human, less authentic, and more absurd. Those who want to answer those questions must formulate the question about God: does God exist?

We believe we can. We believe that it is possible to build a reasoning that, on the basis of the verification of a certain aspect of reality (as evolution, order, etc.), leads to the affirmation of God’s existence as the only possible explanation. The most evident of these paths or “proofs” is order. The major premise is that where there is order, a master mind must exist. The minor premise is the existence of an order in the whole of the universe. The conclusion is that there has to be a universal master mind.

Why should we accept a major premise, according to which where there is order there is somebody who puts things in order? Because it is evident and everybody admits this principle in practice. For example, let’s suppose that we arrive at a desert island and find an SOS message written on the sand of the beach. Nobody would think that it was written by the wind or the waves by chance. On the contrary, everyone would think that, on the island, there is somebody clever enough to have written the message. In the same way, if we found on the island a stone hut with windows, doors and a fireplace, we would not think that the stones were placed there as a result of a hurricane. We would immediately think of an intelligent mind when we see order.

Is it possible an order without an intelligent mind? There is one chance in a trillion that the SOS message was written by the waves on the sand. Who will accept such an explanation? Somebody once said that even if we put a million monkeys in front of a million writing machines for a million years, statistically speaking it will be impossible for any of them to write the Quixote by chance (P. CARREIRA S.J., Manuel. Hacia la vida inteligente, en Tellemar, Ávila 1991, p. 410). If the Quixote cannot be a result of chance, then how can we explain the order of the universe based on randomness? We must only look around us to verify the wonderful complexity of nature to understand that everything that we see has not come to existence by chance. The more Biology advances in the discovery of mechanisms that explain the organization, the functioning, and the evolution of living beings, the more it leads us to affirm that those mechanisms are so astonishing and are so well arranged that they have been thought by Somebody.

The philosophical proofs of God’s existence are certainly very interesting, but they are also quite arduous and too cold. It is easier to reach God with the heart than with the reason exclusively. As a matter of fact, in most cases what leads to affirm the existence of God are existential, intuitive thoughts. The reality itself of daily life makes us experience things we do not understand: death, pain, the innocent suffering of a loved person, are all heart-breaking experiences that claim for some explanation. Love, beauty, joy, the insatiable yearning for happiness… they also lead us to feel God.

If God exists, He must be the One and Only. Reason tells us clearly that God is infinitely perfect. God has all the perfections in the highest and endless degree. If it were not so, He could receive more perfections, but then He would depend on the one who gave those perfections to Him, thus not being God. On the other hand, if there were many gods, one could have the perfections of others, thus none of them would be God. In other words, the existence of two endless gods, or different ones at the same time pretending to be god is impossible.

This statement has serious consequences. If God is God, the beginning of all, the total absolute, we must accept and assume that we receive all from Him and that nothing is independent from Him. Thus, God can never be, for man, just a reality, not even a reality higher than the other realities. God is the centre of reality and for this reason, only in God we can find the answer to all the enigma of the human condition. God is the answer to the question about the reason and the ultimate meaning of the human being and the world, because all comes from God and belongs to God.

We, Christians, believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the core mystery of Christianity, the mystery that lightens and gives meaning to all other mysteries. Thus, the first thing Christians should do is to discover they have a Father who created them and loves them; a Brother, Christ, who has given His life for them; and a Friend, the Holy Spirit, that gives life and the necessary help to do things well.

Because we know that God is not a solitary being: He is a Trinity of people. This is something difficult to understand but, though we cannot figure it out completely, we can understand the importance of this Mystery. Somebody can think that the fact that God is a Trinity of Persons is something irrelevant; but nobody thinks that the idea of God as Love is irrelevant. Nonetheless, if God were not a Trinity, God would not be Love: because more than one person is needed for a love that is not egotistical, a love of itself. If there were only one person in God, it could only be an egotistical love. In the best of cases he could only be a lover of human persons, but not Love in itself. And in this case, He would depend on human beings, because without them it would only be egotistical love. Only the Trinity allows God to be Love in its essence. The Father loves the Son, does not love himself; the Son loves the Father, does not love himself; the Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son, a Love of such a category that is a Person.

This idea is expressed by G.K. Chesterton with his habitual cleverness: “The barren dogma is only the logical way of stating the beautiful sentiment. For if there be a being without beginning, existing before all things, was He loving when there was nothing to be loved? If through that unthinkable eternity He is lonely, what is the meaning of saying He is love? The only justification of such a mystery is the mystical conception that in His own nature there was something analogous to self-expression; something of what begets and beholds what it has begotten. Without some such idea, it is really illogical to complicate the ultimate essence of deity with an idea like love”. (CHESTERTON, G.K., The Everlasting Man, A Project Gutenberg of Australia Ebook).

Regarding our life and History, to believe in God’s Love means to be certain that none of us is a number in front of God; that one by one we are known and loved with endless love by the Father, source of all love; by the Son, that became a man for our love; by the Holy Spirit, that insufflates the love of God in our hearts. This is fundamental. We can also assert that it is not possible to be a Christian if one does not feel, somehow, the personal love of God manifested in Christ.

We, Christians know that we are important to God personally, that we are not just one among thousands and billions of human beings created haphazardly by an absent-minded and distracted God. God is concerned about all and each one of us and He loves us with an intense, personal, and passionate love. Nobody should think that we are exaggerating God’s love, because we aren’t! God loves us. He loves us immensely, more than we love ourselves. This should lead us to recognize our own personal worth. A low self-esteem is not Christian. When we are on the brink of giving in yield to the temptation of asking ourselves “Who loves me?”, “Who cares about me?”, we should immediately answer: “God!” We are always present in His thought, He never forgets us. This is the truth and we shall never forget it: God loves me. His love embraces me and He wraps his arms around me like the starving arms of a lover. And if I lose His love, it will only be because I freely and voluntarily refuse Him and never because He stops loving me (TRESE, Leo J., Dios necesita de ti, Palabra, Madrid 1984, pp. 17-25).

We, Christians, do not believe in God as a judge, that looks at us from high in the sky and punishes us; nor in an indifferent God to His creatures. We believe in a God that, for love, became man, became a child, and showed us the tenderness and frailty of immeasurable love. We believe in a God that, for love, suffered the pain and the shame of the Cross. We believe in a God that, for love, sent His Son and His Spirit to free us from our miseries and to lead us to the eternal joy. God is Love: He loves us with a personal love because He is a Personal Love.

 

When we, Christians, call God “Father” we are alluding to three things: in the first place, in the Trinity God is the Father of His Son, His eternal Word. God The Father has eternally begotten His Son; and the Son is the same as the Father, of His same Nature, He is the perfect image of the Father.

In the second place, God is our Father because He created us in His own image. God created all the things and He loves all the things He created. But man is not only just one of the creatures; he is the most perfect one, because he is image of God. In the Genesis Book it is told how God created all things: He says “Let there be”, and things start to exist. But when it comes to create man, the author of the Genesis tells us that God takes clay and moulds man with His own hands, and then insufflates his soul with His breath. Of course, we should not take this tale too literally, but we can infer that the creation of man is much more personal, closer and more loving that the rest of things. Man is God’s favourite creature.

Thirdly, we, Christians, are the adopted children of God by Baptism. Through the Baptism we are embodied in Christ, who makes us participants of His divine nature. Baptism makes us new creatures and allows us to have an absolutely different relationship with God: we are not just mere creatures, now we are part of His family, “we are all his children” (Acts 17, 28), His adopted children and, therefore, we can inherit His life and participate in His eternal joy.

10 preguntas sobre la existencia de Dios

In fact, nobody can blame God for the fact that He cannot be known because He is far from us, or because He has not taken the trouble to adjust Himself to our human measures and our reason. God met us, talked to us, showed Himself: He revealed Himself. God has moved so close to us that He assumed our own nature: He became man. God became man so in this way we will not go tumbling around looking for Him; He became man to let us know Him, to propose a friendship with Him. The sure path towards God is Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ asserts of Himself that He is God. He’s either a fool or what he says is true. Jesus Christ has influenced History so much, He has changed so many things and so many lives, His person is so big, that we cannot go past Him. Christ cannot be ignored. We must take Him into account. The great challenge for the atheists is not God, but the repeated and guaranteed statement of the so many proofs offered by Jesus Christ Himself. And this challenge is even greater for the agnostics, that cannot take shelter in the inability of human reason to pose the issue of God: God became man and to reach Him they only need to study Jesus’ story and interpret the Christian fact in the light of the scientific data in our possession.

However, to declare that Jesus of Nazareth is God the study of History is not enough; faith is needed. Thus, the difficulty still persists. But what is certain is that Christ is absolutely original, unique, and unrepeatable, and He cannot be ignored.

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