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What does Catholic Theology say about how it is possible for us to know God?

Michael_Jay's picture

What does Catholic Theology say about how it is possible for us to know God?

Are the proofs of God's existence as expressed by Aquinas part of knowing? Or are they just a natural scientific series of steps?

Are proofs really necessary or can theology take us straight into the understanding of the word knowing in terms of what God reveals to us through the OT and then made more explicit later when Jesus comes into this world historically through His Incarnation?

lumencristi's picture

Seek not to understand that you may believe...

"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe." by St. Augustine

He built His Church in order to perpetuate His Priesthood. We always forget the Christ is King and He is with us. He built His Church so that His Sacrifice to the Father can be one continous act, as the Credo says: Sits at the right hand of the Father."

I know it's difficult to understand or impossible to understand without the aid of grace that Christ is here. But, we should be encouraged that Jesus said so many times that wherever two or three of us are gathered in His Name, there will he be.

The reason why He built His Church can be understood easily when we read and medidate in the Acts and in the book of Hebrews. The underlying theme there is God's continous intervention in the temporal and spiritual life of His children. The Church as we read in Corinthians is the Bride of Christ.

There are so many delightful experiences and thoughts when we think what the Church means. Often times as we see in history, many well intentioned men get caught up in the "church" temporal business that they forgot that the Head of the "church" that they supposedly serve didn't even have a pillow to rest his head upon. He didn't even have a synagogue or a temple to claim as His. All He said was to spread the good news.

God promised in the Old Testament as we read in Ezikiel a time when "I will be their God and they will be my children. No longer will a man say to another, "Know God." Because I will instill my laws into their heart so that they may be my children and will no longer remember their sins." We can understand then when St. Augustine said, "I found thee not, O Lord, without, because I erred in seeking thee without that wert within."

God chose an aposotle who didn't come from the original 12 to confirm His direct intervention with the Church. It came from someone whose sole purpose at that time was to persecute the Jews that followed Jesus' teaching. He was a bad man and was about to persecute many other Jewish christians. God chose an unknown person to tell us about this message.

One of the greatest error that we can see in history is that there are many well intentioned people who proclaim they are God's ambasadors and yet do everything contrary to His teachings. And we can sum up our Lord's teaching in this simple phrase: Love one another, as I have loved you. If the saying "History repeats itself" is true then we must be vigilant with ourselves who comrpise the church.

My brothers, let us not get caught up what will bring knowledgeg to us. God will bring you knowledge and understanding in the way that He sees fit. For some, it may be revealed in a lab under a microscope. For others, it may be sitting in a subway on his way to work. And still for some, may be reading or listening to a sermon...and even in battlefields, God revealed himself to many.

God realy works in mysterious ways. They are mystery to us because they are beyond our understanding. The most important theological statement one can make is that God Is. He contains all and is in charge. Even things that may not make sense to us such as the tsunami, hurricanes, and earthquake, He is still in charge. And we should pray for those who are suffering and if we can help them. But my friends, we cannot pretend to know why those things happen. And please do not try to seek a theological reasoning behind it other than: all things work towards God's glorification. And if you want to try to understand it, do not go beyond the point it where it will start bothering you. Just understand that God was with all of those who suffered and that He has His reasons.

Finally, I just want to share a short story that I always like to remember when I get caught up in my inclination to know all to the point of losing my own faith. St. Augustine, who we know is a Father and Doctor of the Church, one day was walking along the shore when he came upon a child who was running back and forth from the water into the beach. The child had a little pale that he would fill up with water and then dump it into the little hole. St. Augustine asked him whatt he was trying to do. The little child said that he was filling the ocean into that hole. Then St. Augustine replied, "My son, don't you know that it's impossible to fill that ocean into that little hole." Then the little child (who is probably an angel), said to him, "But Augustine! Don't you know that it is easier for me to fill this hole with all the water in the oceans than for you to comprehend God."

May peace be with you.