A Confession

July 28, 2010

Small side chapel in St. John's Abbey Church


I don’t know what I think about God. 

I was a tiny bit concerned about the prayer portion of the retreat because I find myself extremely resistant to all of the male identifiers for God in the Bible and the traditional Catholic prayers of my childhood — “Father” this and “Lord” that, “kingdom” and “King.”  God is a mystery to me — a benevolence, a Light — but none of these words adequately express how I approach a definition of God in my mind.  But I do know in my heart that God is not just a “He.” 

So I was very reassured during the retreat by two comments in particular that resonated with me.  The first was a passage from John 1: 18, which we discussed during a morning prayer practice:  “No one has ever seen God.”  And the second came during Kathleen’s discussion about pursuing a more contemplative life, when she said, “Renounce your thoughts about God, for God is beyond all thoughts.”  

St. John's Abbey Guest House, a wall of light and shadow


I can be okay with leaving God undefined in my life. 

Emerging from the clouds into the great, infinite blue

4 Responses to “A Confession”

  1. Elephant's Eye Says:

    If you go back to Genesis, man and woman, we are created in the image of God. That means God has a feminine face too. To me God is a person, creator of this world and everything in it. But God is not particularly ‘he or she’.

  2. Lynne Says:

    I love the images of sky and the wall of light and shadow – like an illuminated quilt. I think it’s fine to leave God undefined – in fact, I believe God is beyond definition.

  3. shoreacres Says:

    This reminds me of Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Sky Above Clouds: Yellow Horizon and Clouds” that I saw at the exhibition at Crystal Bridges last month.

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