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