Friday, December 28, 2012

Why Did "God" Make Me?

While at friend's house, I observed next to her guest room toilet, a compilation of quotes from the writings of C.S. Lewis. I have never been able to get into C.S. Lewis, as his writings always seemed to me so out of touch with the world of dirty diapers and other realities in which sexual, physical beings live. I didn't have a lot of time to peruse his words of monkish wisdom, but I absorbed an entry where he contended that we are made, not to love God, but for God to love us. This is in direct opposition to what I was taught as a pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic kid.

The Roman Catholic Baltimore Catechism that I had to memorize before I could receive "The Body of Christ" in Holy Communion, stated unequivocally, "God made me to show His goodness, for me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to make me happy with Him in the next." How can these two diametrically opposed viewpoints both be called Christian?

Can any two interpretations of our mission on earth be more different? We want to believe that all "others" are not our neighbors or our "brothers", and yet we don't take the time to really know each other.  Perhaps we should stop and ask people their meaning of their "God" before we assume we're in agreement (or disagreement). Or even better, watch them to see how they exemplify their special gift of being made in God's image and we'll see who they see as their God.

I became interested in the definition of the word theology after reading this and speaking with her husband who has taught classes in the subject. This led me to research the many names by which people of different times and faiths refer to "God." In Judeo-Christian theology alone, there are hundreds of sacred names for "God." The Koran has ninety-nine names for the same Abrahamic Divine Being as Judeo-Christians worship. It seems obvious to me that The Divine appears differently to different people at different times. What I look for in others is responsible compassion; then I feel like I am looking into the face of Divine Light.

My friend has said that it makes her sad that she and I don't share a same language for our beliefs. She and I share our commitment to responsible compassion in action. Isn't this enough to make us sisters in The Spirit?

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