Why Believing In God Means Surrendering To His Mystery
"There is much in Christianity which can be subjected to exact analysis. But the ultimate things are shrouded in the silent mysteries of God." - Hans Urs von Balthasar
I can understand why people can be easily turned off by Catholicism. There are many facets of the faith that are not easy to understand. People question why we believe in purgatory when it is not clearly mentioned in the Bible. And it is never easy to explain how a simple piece of bread could very well be the true body of Jesus Christ.
But then again, Christianity itself is filled with difficult concepts. To a secular world, how do we even start to preach that one man has risen from the dead? There is also the concept of the Trinity, three persons in One God.
In a way, the Catholic faith is filled with mystery. And this mystery invites us to draw closer to God. It helps us to seek Him, to talk to Him, to ask Him the many questions we have at the back of our minds.
Even though God gave us the Sacred Scripture as a collection of books that contain the inspired word of God, the Catechism of the Church states:
“Still, the Christian faith is not a ‘religion of the book’. Christianity is the religion of the ‘Word’ of God, ‘not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living’. If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, ‘open (our) minds to understand the Scriptures.’" (CCC 108)
The living Word then could reveal Himself to us by means other than the Bible, for He is not limited by that which was written.
“This is the disciple who testifies about these things, and wrote these things. We know that his witness is true. There are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they would all be written, I suppose that even the world itself wouldn’t have room for the books that would be written.” - John 21:24-25, WEBBE
Think of nature for instance, as a point where we become in awe of the beauty and mystery of God. Think also of the lives of the saints and of all the holy people who have become living witnesses of God’s transforming and saving grace.
There are times when we cannot understand everything that the Scripture says, but that doesn’t mean we must lose faith. On the other hand, it is an opportunity for faith to grow deeper. It is also an opportunity to grow in humility as we become humble enough to admit that we cannot understand everything. Being humble, we admit that God has appointed people who could help us. For God has sent His Spirit to guide His Church through shepherds who can reveal to us those things we find hidden and beyond our grasp.
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” - 2 Peter 1:19-21, KJV
The mystery of God may sometimes lead us to uncomfortable places, but that doesn’t mean that He has left us alone. God is love, and love exists even in silence and in darkness. It is then when love proves itself in patience, hope and perseverance.
Love after all, is a mystery. A mystery that will not succumb to our limited perceptions and rigid interpretations.
Love moves where it wills and we must follow. It invites us to be humble and calls us to wait. Let us allow the truth to unfold in God’s appointed way and time.
"It is easier to gaze into the sun, than into the face of the mystery of God. Such is its beauty and its radiance." - Hildegard of Bingen
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