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What is your image of God?

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Fr. Rick, osc, invites you to read his Homily from Monday morning Mass:

There is wideness in God’s mercy, and Peter is ready to acknowledge the surprising and undeniable work of the Holy Spirit among the Gentiles. Yesterday Peter presented Jesus as the Shepherd and Guardian of our Souls, a favored and ancient image. Here is an invitation to reflect on our image of God.

In a recent Pew survey, self-identified Catholics were asked, "Which comes closest to your view of God?: God is a person with whom people can have a relationship, or God is an impersonal force?"

  • Only 48% were certain that the God they believe in is a God with whom they can have a personal relationship.
  • I don’t know the percentage of those who were not so certain of a personal relationship with God but were hopeful of such; still, the lower percentage of those certain is notable

Here we are on our way toward God together, believing and engaging in and supporting one another in pursuing a personal relationship with God—what a blessing! There are so many appealing images of God that come from scripture, from the tradition of the church fathers, from theologians, spiritual writers and composers over the ages into the present.

Joyce Rupp has written a wonderful book, "Fragments of Your Ancient Name." I purchased this book as a resource for directees who are working with their image of God. In 365 daily meditations, she lists a name of God, from where it comes, with an accompanying prayerful reflection. April 4 is the day of the name “Shepherd,” based on Psalm 23. Joyce writes:

I have been in that bleak valley
When the last bit of joyfulness
Was sucked out of my spirit
By the rippling winds of desolation.
In those times of extended anguish
The memory of green pastures
With you shepherding my way
Brought me strength to go on.
Shepherd, now, others in need
As they stumble on their dark road.

Today, I unite my heart with those in gloomy valleys.

Each one of these 365 names invites us to ponder an inviting, eye opening image of God. This is a good thing as we come to know better the one with whom we are in relationship, even as we know ourselves differently.

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  • Guest
    Matthew Stone Friday, 23 January 2015

    Genesis 1:26
    "And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."

    Man is not God but whenever God is seen He comes as Jesus, even in the old testament. This question we all have to answer.
    Matthew 16:16 "And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

  • Guest
    Rita Monday, 30 November 2015

    Once I was upset with things in my life and not wanting to take full responsibility for them; I tried to put the blame on God--that He knew everything and could have ensured a different outcome had He taken more control. Then I thought about how so many people pronounce the word "God" in an unattractive way, in my opinion. And I ranted at Him--"What's that about? Why did you pick such a name for yourself that people mispronounce?" I did not hear His voice; but a gentle message came back to me: "That is not My name, those are my initials." I was stunned! Not your name? "God" is not your name? It was astonishing! So I asked for an explanation. He said: "Those are my initials. Good. Ole. Dad. I was full of Joy! And that is how I have embraced Him ever since. He is a dear ole Dad who is patient, understanding, kind, caring, watching over you, full of Love and care.....always. He will put up with your faults and weaknesses, and even your nasty complaints to Him that He should be doing more for you. He is G.O.D. "Good Ole Dad."

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