Sunday, March 21, 2010

Loving and Knowing God

"Wisdom, says Bonaventure, 'seeks contemplation (as the highest form of knowledge) and its intention is 'ut boni fiamus', that we should become good. ... Thus, for St. Bonaventure the primacy of love is decisive."

Alright, this post is a heavy one - thinking about thinking! We are always thinking and contemplating about God, trying to find Him in everything we see, trying to approach Him in whatever way we can, and yet, we can never fully encapsulate God with words, with art, with anything. God just is. We always try to approach God by better understanding Him, seeking to know more about Him and what He does. God just is. We always seek to know the whys and the hows of His Love for us, the ticking of the mind of God. God just is. All along, God just is, yet somehow we skip over this quintessential point in our search for understanding, logic and reason. What of the pure faith required to simply LOVE God? There is no knowledge, no wisdom, no anything required for this - only faith. Simple, true, beautiful, and loving faith.

After all, to know God is to love Him. What more do we need to know if we love unconditionally? True love knows no boundaries or borders, it knows neither reason nor rhyme. It just IS, it exists purely in a self-sacrificing gift of oneself to another. So too is our gift of love to God - we need not UNDERSTAND Him to KNOW Him. Because to know Him is to LOVE Him.

All of our seeking of information about God, our research, our meditations, our everything is meant to help us understand a small piece of God. Yet, there are infinite small pieces of God, broken down into infinitely smaller pieces! Atoms break down into submolecules, submolecules break down even further beyond our understanding. We can never fully understand God, or KNOW Him from a research perspective. We can study God to no end, think about Him endlessly, but never fully grasp the WHY, the HOW. We can never know all the intricacies. That is, unless we throw away all of our searching for that link to Him, and simply LOVE Him. Then we discover that THAT is our link to Him!

You know those curved functions that approach zero, but never reach it? They can get infinitesimally small, but they never hit 0. Sure, .00000000001 is pretty close, but no cigar! And yet, if you throw out the function, you just start with the number 0, there you are! That's like our relationship with God. You can logically and scientifically study the function to realize that there is a VERY VERY small number out there. But in order to get to 0, you have to just make the leap. Our reason and logic only approaches God to a certain extent, but faith makes the jump from .00000001 to 0. We jump from our reasoning to loving in an instant, but it is that one tiny step (or maybe large leap!) that makes all the difference!

And the irony of this all is that we come to KNOW God only by FAITH in LOVING and TRUSTING in Him BEYOND REASON, and from that moment we know EVERYTHING there is to know about God. How ironic is it that faith leads to reason, but the equation doesn't work the other way around? Reason does not conclusively lead us to faith, yet faith inevitably brings us to reason.

C.S. Lewis was quoted as saying, "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it, I see everything else." How is it that we accept such tacit understanding of metaphysics, Newton's Laws, Locke's social contract, all without thinking? We build on the reason of the past in the trust that those theorists were right! Our entire thought process springboards off of these ideas without thoroughly starting from scratch, yet we have faith in these theorists! Can we not extend to God the same courtesy of trusting in Him without having to dissect everything of Him, simply knowing that He IS? Content to live without the dim and spotted lights of understanding, but instead lit up by the flood of brilliance of love?

I was thinking the other day about how, all of my life, I have been searching for the perfect subject to be able to know completely. To be able to study and know something completely and in its entirety. Something that didn't break down into smaller components. I got nowhere! Even the smallest things you can think of are broken down further (elements break down into atoms into submolecules, social issues break down into factors break down into thoughts break down into neurological transmissions in your brain break down into cells into neutrinos!)! So, how are we to ever know anything? The ONE THING, I realized, that is WHOLE, that does not break down further, is GOD. He is TRUINE, but He is ONE. And He simply IS. He needs no description - He exists. And by existing, the whole universe has taken shape and has come to be. But He simply is.

And we simply ARE, too: we ARE in loving Him. To know Him is to love Him. What more do we need to know, other than the EVERYTHING we NEED to know in loving Him??? :)

Dearest Lord, may today we not shy away from the blind faith needed to love You! May we humbly offer up all our reason, suspend it for the moment it requires to love You in complete devotion to You! May we not cry out, like Thomas, to see the hands and feet which were pierced - rather, may we LOVE You and TRUST You simply because we know you exist, that you ARE. May we give to You everything we possess - including our thoughts, our knowledge, our everything - certain in the trust and the hope that you will return it to us in greater quantity than we could ever imagine!!

In the Love of Christ through Mary,
Christina :)