“Why do you have to bring God into every conversation?”
This seemingly simple question was posed to me by one of my daughters some years ago. I took the occasion to ponder the question. I believe contemplating our relationship with God is just as relevant today for each of us, especially in these uncertain times.
The world has permanently changed. Everyone is impacted in one way or another. In this calling to live our Catholic faith, where are you at? Are you on firm ground? Have you had to rethink how you will practice your faith? Where is God in all this for you? And, what does it look like going forward?
It is good to examine our hearts, pondering these questions, and being honest with our responses.
At St. Andrew the Apostle, we are also asking some of these questions as we look ahead. We will not be doing business as before, but with greater attentiveness to the needs of our parishioners. How have our parishioners been affected? Where are they in their faith journey? How can we meet them where they are at to share the Good News and reasons for our hope? Know that we are actively working on these matters and if you have suggestions, or want to help make a difference somehow, please let us know.
As far as my own pondering on that important question she asked, I would like to share with you the letter I wrote to her in response. As I read it now, nothing has changed for me, except to be more convicted than ever.
How do I not bring the Author of Life into life itself? How can I speak of the reason for my joy, my hope, my strength without naming its cause? What is the reason for oxygen if not to breath, or for water if not to cleanse and satiate? How do you describe a rainbow without using color?
How can I not give recognition to the One, who animates all things and brings everything into existence? Without God there would be no bird to sing a melodious song, no leaf to sway in the invisible wind, no eye to see your untold beauty or ear to hear your boisterous, contagious laughter.
Through His great love we all came into being, and it is His immeasurable, inexhaustible, unconditional, and infinitesimal love that helped me find daddy and together in love, incarnate five unique, unforgettable, exquisite human beings we call sons and daughters.
How does one speak of conquering mountains and surviving floods without mentioning the lifeline that pulled them up or saved them from drowning? God is the blood that courses through my body, and the air that fills my lungs.
God is the lens through which I see the world and even if I should lose my eyesight it would not dim nor change how I interpret the world around me. He is the glue that holds everything together, the stream connecting every water way, the thread that binds, assembles, and weaves all matter together.
He is at once the question and the answer, the reason and purpose, movement, and motion itself.
Because of God I am here and so are you. I am able to listen, respond, love, laugh and cry with you; thus, becoming your source of frustration, amusement, exasperation, and dependability.
In a world that constantly shifts, betrays, disillusions, and deceives, He is the objective truth in which I anchor my existence, when storms thrash and overwhelm me. I get beat up, pulled under, and resemble death more than life, yet God is the tether that holds me firm, keeping me safe and steadfast through it all.
God is light in the darkness, joy in hardship, hope in disaster and the answer to every human cry for help. He is love, forgiveness, mercy, justice. Only He can make sense of the senseless or bring good out of evil.
So, my darling I can only say with conviction and certainty that it is nearly impossible for me not to bring God into my conversations. I am hopeful that because of this fact, that deep down inside, you realize this, and it is why I am worth speaking to at all.
May you one day find, this inescapable verb to be inseparable from any sentence uttered from your own lips and fondly remember this question from so long ago, and now equipped with greater knowledge, wisdom, and understanding do the same for your children.
All my love, Mom
My kids will confirm that I never had a short answer for anything. It is the written word that I love, so emails from me were common, especially on touchy subjects, and for their deeper consideration after stupid choices. I invite you to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and state with conviction your own relationship with God. It is a very enlightening exercise for spiritual growth.