Tag Archives: seeing God

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.

Saturday, 1st Week of Advent

Readings

Isaiah 30:19-21-23-26  God heals and gives an abundance of gifts.

Matthew 9:35; 10:1, 5, 6-8  Jesus pities the lost sheep and sends his disciples to cure, to raise the dead and give life.

Daily homily:

http://thepassionists.org/reflections/

Isaiah was driven by a vision of God. Here’s a meditation by St. Anselm that leads us to God, whom we look for in this holy season:

“Get up, little one! For awhile put away what holds you. Put aside your busy thoughts. Lay down your burdens and what bothers you. Make way for God for a little while.

Go into your mind and stop thinking. Concentrate on God and thoughts that help you look for God. Close your door and look. Speak from the  heart. Speak to God: I seek your face; your face, Lord, I seek.

Come, Lord God, teach my heart where and how to seek you, where and how to find you.

Lord, if you are not here, then where are you? You are everywhere, so why don’t I see you here? You dwell in unapproachable light. So where is unapproachable light, or how shall I come to it? Who shall lead me to that light and into it, that I may see you in it? I have never seen you, O Lord, my God; I do not know your face.

I’m an exile far from you. What shall I do, anxious to love you, and so far from your presence? I want to see you and yet your face seems far away. I long to come to you and yet you dwell in a place inaccessible. I  want to find you, but I don’t know where. I desire to seek you, and I don’t know what you look like.

Lord, you are my God, and I have never seen you. You made me and renewed me and give me all  good things, and I have not yet met you. I was created to see you, and I have not yet done what I was made for.

How long,  Lord will you forget us; how long will you turn your face from us? When will you look upon us, and hear us? When will you enlighten our eyes that we may see your face?

Seeing God

Here’s why I like St. Ireneaus:

“The prophets foretold that God would be seen by us; as indeed the Lord himself confirmed: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

But at the same time God is great and unspeakably glorious, so that no one shall see God and live, for God can never be completely understood. But God is loving and kind and omnipotent, and so he gives the sight of God, the greatest gift of all, to those who love him. Even this was foretold by the prophets: For those things that are humanly impossible, are possible with God.

We don’t see God by our own powers; but we see God when it pleases him that this should be so. God decides who should see him, and when, for God is powerful in all things. He was seen in the past prophetically, through the Spirit, and now by adoption through the Son; and in the kingdom of heaven he will be seen as a true father. The Spirit prepares humanity for the Son of God, the Son leads it to God, and the God gives it the gift of incorruptible eternal life, a life that everyone receives who sees God.”