Monday, December 8, 2008

Who is God?


As a Roman Catholic, I recite the Nicene Creed every Sunday; "I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible", but what does this really mean, and is there room for interpretation in this statement of faith? For some reason this, and other questions of faith and my role in the church have been nagging me lately. As I have written here before, I have for the past several years been following the homilies and the teachings of a Catholic priest, despite the fact that there are many points of Catholicism that I can't accept, and many acts that the Catholic church has committed that I condemn. A couple of months ago, as I sat in church waiting for mass to start I felt a need or a calling to become more involved with the liturgy. On my way out of mass that same day, my pastor took me aside and told me that he was planning to introduce adult servers into the liturgy and asked me if I would be interested. This co-incidence struck me pretty hard. I accepted this calling, and for the past 2 Sundays David and I have been arriving 15 minutes early so that we can don our long white albs and assist Fr. Hood celebrate the mass. While all the other servers have been assigned specific tasks that keep them quite occupied, I have been assigned the role of MC, which leaves me free to stand solemnly, observe and think. Here are my resulting musings: I can accept the facts surrounding the birth and life of Jesus Christ, his mission and the miracles attributed to him, although I tend to think that over time some stories have been embellished to serve the needs of the church. However, I have trouble with the concept of an all mighty, all powerful deity (especially an older white man in long robes perched up in the clouds - I'm sure a jet would have come across this scene by now) unless that deity is the life energy that we all come from and return to. If this energy/life force is "God", and each of us are created in the image of "God", then it makes sense to me that collectively we could accomplish amazing (all mighty) things, like moving mountains, ending world hunger, bringing peace to the world. The trick would be to get us acting as a collective towards these goals, as opposed to focusing on our individual, material corporeal needs. Now that would be a miracle!

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