Did you catch the main points communicated in these paragraphs?
We can come to a knowledge of God through the LIGHT OF HUMAN REASON and this is VERY IMPORTANT
St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, in Ch 1, says that yes EVEN THOSE that have NEVER HEARD of the living and true God will still experience CONSEQUENCES AND JUDGMENT
St. Paul says, “Well because they have the light of human reason. They can look at the world around them and our human capacity for understanding and for acknowledging and even coming to know in a certain sense not only that God exists, but who He is by the natural light of human reason is embedded in Scripture.”
Paragraph 36 says, “Without this capacity (to come to know God), we would not be able to welcome God’s revelation. Man has this capacity because he is created ‘in the image of God.’”
Pope Pius XII wrote a document called Humani Generis and he says, “Though human reason is, strictly speaking, truly capable by its own natural power and light of attaining to a true and certain knowledge of the one personal God, who watches over and controls the world by his providence, and of the natural law written in our hearts by the Creator; yet there are many obstacles which prevent reason from the effective and fruitful use of this inborn faculty. For the truths that concern the relations between God and man wholly transcend the visible order of things, and, if they are translated into human action and influence it, they call for self-surrender and abnegation.”
So we realize OH THAT’S RIGHT!!
So when I come to know that God IS then it means that I AM NOT GOD
When we come to know WHO God is and who He is calling me to be, that calls for SELF-SURRENDER AND ABNEGATION
THE HUMAN HEART DOES NOT WANT THIS!!!
“The human mind, in its turn, is hampered in the attaining of such truths, not only by the impact of the senses and the imagination…”
C.S. Lewis talks about this and how Faith can be a virtue
In Mere Christianity he says, “I can know something is true and still experience fear. I can know that there are no monsters underneath the bed. But I can have that moment where I hear something and think, ‘Wait, is there?’”
Pope Pius XII says, “The human mind is hampered by the impact of the senses and imagination.”
Even if I KNOW something is TRUE, I can IMAGINE it to be FALSE!!
It goes on to talk about our DISORDERED APPETITES which are the consequences of ORIGINAL SIN
We will talk more about this later but for now, one of those is that I WANT what is NOT GOOD FOR ME
I WANT to use what is GOOD for me in a way that is NOT GOOD for me or GOOD FOR OTHERS
Another way to say this is DISORDERED APPETITES
Pope Pius XII says, “So it happens that men in such matters easily persuade themselves that what they would not like to be true is false or at least doubtful.” 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯
I experience that ALL OF THE TIME and I appreciate you pointing it out for me!!
Onwards to the next section : HOW CAN WE SPEAK ABOUT GOD?
The Church says that our knowledge of God is LIMITED
Even though He has revealed Himself to us
Even though we recognize that we have received the FULLNESS OF REVELATION of God
God is still the INEXPRESSIBLE
God is the INCOMPREHENSIBLE
God is the INVISIBLE
God is the UNGRASPABLE
ALL OF OUR HUMAN WORDS WILL ALWAYS FALL SHORT OF WHO GOD ACTUALLY AND TRULY IS
There was a discussion/debate between an atheist and a Christian
At one point the Atheist acknowledged, “Listen, I can acknowledge that maybe there is this ultimate grounded being from which all things flow. But if that’s true, this being is far more than any of us have ever imagined.”
And the Christian said, “Exactly! You are completely right.”
And THAT is what The Catechism is saying
When it comes to our language, we are going to be using words we did all of last year when it comes to Scripture
Here is God who is revealing Himself using human words and human language
For the next year we are going to go through all these words describing God
Describing our relationship with God
Trying to capture into human language something and someone who is INEXPRESSIBLE and UNCAPTURABLE
OUR LANGUAGE WILL ALWAYS FALL SHORT!!
AND YET WE TRY!!
Paragraph 43 says, “Admittedly, in speaking about God like this, our language is housing human modes of expression; nevertheless it really does attain to God Himself…”
So it actually does reveal something to us about God
While almost all words when it comes to God are analogies
Analogies point out similarities
But we realize that there are always more DISSIMILARITIES than there are SIMILARITIES
Lateran Council IV says, “Between creator and creature no similitude can be expressed without implying an even greater dissimilitude” (Man oh MAN do I now wish I had studied harder for my verbal SATs back in the day!! 😉)
We have similarities between God who is THE FATHER and our fathers
The Church is saying, “Yes yes yes. But there is an even greater dissimilarity.” (Hahahaha Fr. Mike! This is what happens when you speak so fast!! You can’t finish these big fancy words so much, eh? 🤣🤣)
Tomorrow is going to be GREAT
We will get to go back over this whole first chapter IN BRIEF
Fr. Mike is praying for YOU
Please pray for Fr. Mike
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!