The Desire for God
The Catechism of the Catholic Church begins with the Profession of Faith. It states:
The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for:
The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.
In many ways, throughout history down to the present day, men have given expression to their quest for God in their religious beliefs and behavior: in their prayers, sacrifices, rituals, meditations, and so forth. These forms of religious expression, despite the ambiguities they often bring with them, are so universal that one may well call man a religious being:
From one ancestor (God) made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him - though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For "in him we live and move and have our being." ~ Acts 17:26-28
I have met people from many different faiths in my life and I do believe that there is something in every person that seeks a Being outside themselves. I have seen people searching for meaning in life. Very few have I known that are true Atheists, believing in nothing but the material. Though I know Atheists, it seems to me that they also are searching for a great truth, the secret that if they unlock it will show them the true purpose of life or the fact that is purposeless. That is my sticking point with Atheism. If there is nothing outside of ourselves that gives purpose and meaning to life that reveals truth then it is up to us as individuals to decide for ourselves. The problem with this for me is that it seems that everybody is so damaged that it is hard for us to come to know anything for certain in this life.
At 48 years of age, I know that my mind can convince me of anything. How often have I been absolutely sure of a thing only to find out that I couldn’t have been more wrong. To me, I think we would have to live three times as long as we do to figure out anything for sure in this life. So I agree with the Catechism that we are religious beings, and we grope for truth and purpose and for God.
The Catechism goes on to discuss how the intimacy between God and man had been marred.
29 But this "intimate and vital bond of man to God" (GS 19 # 1) can be forgotten, overlooked, or even explicitly rejected by man.3 Such attitudes can have different causes: revolt against evil in the world; religious ignorance or indifference; the cares and riches of this world; the scandal of bad example on the part of believers; currents of thought hostile to religion; finally, that attitude of sinful man which makes him hide from God out of fear and flee his call.
30 "Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice." Although man can forget God or reject him, He never ceases to call every man to seek him, so as to find life and happiness. But this search for God demands of man every effort of intellect, a sound will, "an upright heart", as well as the witness of others who teach him to seek God.
You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised: great is your power and your wisdom is without measure. And man, so small a part of your creation, wants to praise you: this man, though clothed with mortality and bearing the evidence of sin and the proof that you withstand the proud. Despite everything, man, though but a small a part of your creation, wants to praise you. You yourself encourage him to delight in your praise, for you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you. ~ St. Augustine
The scriptures quoted are:
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. ~ Matthew 13:22
When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. The LORD God then called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself." ~ Gen 3:8-10
Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!~ Psalm 105:3
When I was in college in Philosophy class we were discussing the concept of God. For me it was hard to believe that God didn’t exist, but what I felt was a legitimate question is whether a good God existed. In this I thought unbelievers had a good argument. Everyday we are confronted with so much evil and suffering. If God is good, if God is Love, then how could things go on in this way? I believe this is the greatest obstacle that people face when they first start to ponder the existence of God. If we take the scriptures as a starting point then we understand that everything God created was good, but after the fall of man, that is when evil entered the world of man. So the evil in this world is not from God but from man. I see a good argument in believing this also.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please feel free to start a conversation and leave a comment. I look forward to hearing what you have to think.