Is It Possible To See God?

Can we, poor creatures we are, know God and enter God’s presence, the inaccessible God? Can our hearts be pure enough to see God? St. Gregory of Nyssa asks that question in his commentary on the beatitude “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.”

The “Hand of the Word” help us attain it.

“Does the Lord really encourage us to do something that is beyond our nature and our powers to accomplish? Surely not. Look at the birds: God has not created them without wings. Look at sea creatures: God has not designed them as land animals. Wherever we look, the law of each creature’s being does not demand that it should do something that it is beyond its own nature to do.

“Let us reflect on this and not despair of the purity of heart that the Beatitude speaks of. John, Paul and Moses did not, in the end, lack the sublime blessing of seeing God. Paul said There is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me; John lay on Jesus’ breast; and Moses heard God say to him, I have known you above all. It is certain that those who said that the contemplation of God was beyond human power were themselves blessed. But blessedness comes from the contemplation of God, and seeing God is something that comes to those who are pure of heart. It follows logically that purity of heart cannot be an unattainable thing.

“So if some, with Paul, truly say that the contemplation of God is beyond human power, yet the Lord himself contradicts them by promising the sight of God to those who are pure of heart.”

We shouldn’t set our sights low.

3 thoughts on “Is It Possible To See God?

  1. Gloria

    I Can See God

    I read a comment that said
    “You can’t see the wind,
    so how can you see God?”
    Well, I have news
    for the questioner.

    I can see the wind
    as leaves flutter in the breeze,
    as it bends huge tree branches,
    as the windmill whirls around,
    as the wind changes the morning
    from hazy and humid
    to clear and bright.

    I can smell the wind
    before the rain starts and
    in the scent of lilies and roses,
    in the garden soil after the rain.

    I can hear the wind
    as it sighs in the pine trees,
    as it roars in a storm,
    as it whispers in the grasses.

    I can taste the wind
    when I stick out my tongue
    to catch raindrops or snowflakes.

    I can see God.

    Gloria Ziemienski
    July 2009

  2. Lisa aldridge

    i believe I have seen God in the eyes of a new born and I have seen our suffering Lord in the eyes of the dying. I believe I see God in the eyes of those who truly know love as love comes from God.

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