Without God, You Are a Shadow of What You Could Be

Most of us are a little frightened of what may happen in our lives if we give an unconditional assent to God’s grace. Like Saint Peter, we are inclined to want God to remain at a safe distance. “Depart from me, Lord, I am a sinner” (Lk 5:8). As a result, there is a tendency to assign God and prayer to a particular compartment in our lives, lock the door, and live the remainder of the time as if there were no God. . . . We keep God locked in a chamber, careful not to give God too much freedom; we do not want any surprises. We are prepared to pay our dues, but we do not want to be challenged to change our attitudes and behavior. . . .

HIDING-BEHIND-A-TREE, hidingIn this attempting to straitjacket God, you succeed only in straitjacketing yourself. As a human being, you have the capacity to transcend the world of space and time and, by grace, enter into a relationship with God. Created in the image and likeness of God, there remains in you, as in every human being deformed by sin, a sufficient residue of that original integrity to trigger in you a desire for the God whom you cannot find in the world of the senses.

By nature you are a God-seeker. Your heart’s desire finds fulfillment only in God. It follows that if you build God out of your life you are condemning yourself to a very dim level of existence. Yes, you may join the ranks of the rich and famous; you may live a life of comfort and even reach high levels of philanthropy. Even so, there is a profound aspect of your being that has been forced into dormancy.

. . . Without God you will be no more than a shadow of what otherwise you could have become. The necessary conclusion is that God’s absence in your life will result in your being stunted in your growth as a human being. You can never reach your full potential.

It eventually becomes evident that outward observance, however holy, cannot take the place of personal encounter with the living God. Rituals are no more than lifeless superstitions unless something is happening at the deep center of personal being. It is this deep intrapersonal bonding with the Unseen that is the basis of genuine religion, and the spark by which our spiritual faculties are activated. Christians call this mysterious reality “faith.” It is gift and not achievement; nor is it merely a cognitive event; we perceive that it is the work of God deep in our souls.
Excerpt from Fully Human, Fully Divine by Father Michael Casey, OCSO, monk at Tarrawarra Abbey, Melbourne, Australia

JerseyShore1If you just stop your mind from shooting thoughts into your consciousness and take time to drink in the deeper, albeit invisible, reality that surrounds you, you may experience being face to face with the God who created all, even you, and has been waiting for you to notice Him and let Him in.

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