Questions and…answers

Dear parish family,

As many of you may (or may not) know, our Caritas ministry is a group of young adults and young professionals that meets regularly for bible study and fellowship. One of our regular features is called “Caritas Q&A” in which we enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant. As we wait on our orders, we write out questions about anything of interest or something that we’ve always wanted to know from the perspective of the Church. After our meal, we spend time discussing the questions that have been submitted. It is a great time, and I’m often told that is when I become most animated…I suppose it is because I really want to get certain points across. It has recently been suggested that I journal such questions, which has given me the idea to blog one or two questions from each of our gatherings in order to broaden the discussion. This will be my first attempt at writing down the things that I said in answer to a participant’s question.

Participants are able to submit their questions anonymously, and this question was presented to the group at our last gathering on March 29th.

Why does it seem that the closer we try to get to God, the farther away He seems to be?

This really is a fantastic question, and asking such a question is almost certain to make your priest’s day! While answering this one at Q&A, I took a number of different angles in order to further our discussion, and I’d like to use it as a point of reflection now that we are coming upon the end of our “program year”.

How have you grown over the course of this last year? We are all called to spiritual growth and to become more and more in love with our Savior, Jesus Christ. So, are there any signs in your life of this continuing process?

To answer the question most directly, the reason that God often seems farther away when we are trying to get closer to him is because God IS infinitely far away from us… “who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see.” (1 Timothy 6:16)

The more we hunger after God and see our relationship to him as it is, we realize that he is perfectly holy and we are…not. We see all of the things within our own lives that are not pleasing to Him and are sinful before an all holy God. This is exactly why we need a savior…because we can never bridge the gap between our own imperfection and the perfection of the All Holy One. The more we come to realize this, the more in love we become with Jesus who is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).

This is growth. It’s the same reason that high schoolers are no longer having to learn that 2+2=4…you’ve already learned that. As we start our spiritual journey, God leads us along through the equivalent of 2+2=4; however, that is not all that there is to know, is there? God’s intention is that we come to know him, and so we are lead to more advanced concepts, often involving trial. But don’t give up…this is God calling you deeper. The question is, do you want to do what it takes to go deeper? How have you grown this year and what are the products of that growth?

In Christ,

Fr. Joe+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2014/05/20/questions-and-answers/

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