REFLECTION: Talking about God PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 January 2015 11:29

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

If we believe that God is everything to us, that he is most relevant to our life and to our needs, since he is at the very core of it all, being our creator and father who is the very giver and keeper of our existence and nature and who loves us no end, then the least thing we can do other than keeping him simply in our mind andheart is to talk about him, and doing so openly. This ought to be our normal behaviour.

Besides, it is what the world needs, especially now when we see a clear drift toward godlessness, worldliness, materialism, etc. People need to hear about God other than what they hear in churches and other formal religious occasions. We have to recover the warmth of God’s abiding presence and love for us in a world that is growing cold and indifferent to him.

Christ himself commands us to do so. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” (Mt 28,19) he told his disciples. In another occasion, he said, “Whoever acknowledges me before men I will also acknowledge him before my Father who is in heaven. Whoever denies me before men, I will also deny before my Father.” (Mt 10,32) With these words, I suppose we just cannot be quiet about God.

Obviously, we have to do all this with naturalness, having a keen sense of timing and proper tone and appropriate words and arguments. In other words, to speak with a gift of gab, which is also God-given. But not to the extent that we would hardly talk about him among our friends and even in some public fora. Sad to say, this is what we are observing these days.

We even hardly hear, “Thank you, Lord,” for the many blessings we have received. Not only do we seldom hear about God in our ordinary daily dealings, we also seem to be afraid or ashamed to talk about him.

I remember that in the few occasions I had casual meetings with the now-Blessed Alvaro del Portillo in the 90s, I would often hear the expression, “Gracias a Dios” (Thanks to God) to everything that I would tell him. That left me with deep impression of him.

We tend to take God for granted very often. We consider talking about him in our daily activities as out of place or not politically or socially correct. What has he got to do with our politics, our business, our sciences, our entertainment, some people ask. Precisely in these fields so vulnerable to be abused, we need to talk a lot about God.

And so we go against the very basic truth of our faith and the most fundamental fact of life, and that is that we need God always, that he’s always relevant to our needs, that he holds the key to our proper understanding of things.

We have to overcome this predicament of ours. Keeping quiet about him can only lead us to many dangers. Our weaknesses would easily get provoked. Temptations start to hound us. Falling into sin would just be a matter of time. Misunderstanding and misrepresenting people and things can easily afflict us.

First of all, we need to thank God because whatever we know, discover or invent can only have God as the basis and goal. Then we need to talk about how what we know or handle have a relation with God’s abiding providence, for everything is always under God’s omnipotent, wise and merciful providence.

It would be funny if we think that there are things in our life that have nothing to do with God. Even our mistakes and failures have a special relation with God. They can reveal God’s mercy, and can occasion in us a deeper understanding about ourselves and about the world in general.

Let us remember that there is only one thing necessary in our life, and that is our own sanctification. The story of Martha and Mary is very illustrative of this point. (cfr Lk 10,38-42) The work of Martha, no matter how good it was, cannot replace what Mary did. And St. Paul says it also quite directly, “This is the will of God, our sanctification.” (1 Thes 4,3)

There may be difficulties involved in fulfilling this need. But they precisely should be motives to study and talk more about God, rather than to remain quiet and passive. Our concern for naturalness and discretion is no excuse to be silent about God in our daily affairs. God himself is the first to be concerned about these things.