Last Sunday morning, when I normally would have been in church, I looked down at a book of Lenten spiritual reflections and saw this quote:
“In putting aside all preoccupations we encounter our creator.”
Makes you think, doesn’t it? When not concerned with viruses, we have lives filled with preoccupations and noisy distractions which make it harder to concentrate on life’s core questions.
Since many of those activities have been shut down for a while, this would seem a good time for quiet reflection on matters that cut to the heart of things, such as the transcendence of God, and exactly who we consider Him to be.
To start, look outside. Our home area features a beautiful gently-sloped countryside. Not far to our north are the flatlands of Illinois. The mighty Mississippi is nearby. A few hours south lies the Gulf of Mexico, turbulent and elegant and peaceful at the same time.
Four quite different areas, yet so precise and perfect, as if painted onto canvas by a master. It’s simply beyond reason, beyond credibility, to believe something as intricate as our world just happened without a supernatural guiding hand.
And just who is this guiding hand we call God?
It is not correct to state that God is the highest creature in an existence full of creatures. That would put Him in a group with you, myself, and my mother’s bird. We, the bird, and the chair I’m sitting on are created things, dependent on our existence by a creator.
God is above such a classification. He was not created. In specific reference to Jesus (but it certainly fits the topic), Colossians 1 reads: “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Similarly, Saint Anselm described God as “that which nothing greater can be thought of.”
And yet this all-powerful divine entity, beyond what we humans can fully understand, knows the number of hairs on our heads. He thought enough of us to love us into existence.
We would be well-served if we spent some portion of our coronavirus quarantine reflecting on that very point. Stay safe and God bless.
Michael Clapp is a deacon at St. Joseph Catholic Church.