If God exists, why doesn’t he just end the curiosity everyone has regarding this and show himself? I mean come on!!! It could put an end to all this suffering, right? For centuries man has wanted to take a peek behind the curtain to view the mastermind, the Wizard of Oz in control of all this. In the movie the Wizard of Oz, he appears all powerful, but a little peak behind the curtain reveals a rather soft and humble man. Their image of Him wasn’t quite accurate in the end.
Are we doing the same? Do we take an image of God based on what the popular world has wanted us to see? Or do we ever look beyond that image the world has given us of him? You know…the image of the angry God of chastisement? I believe that if we did get a peak behind the curtain, we’d see a rather different image of God altogether. A humble, and loving being who dares not violate His promises toward us is what we’d see.
I believe that God gives us just enough light to help us find him, and somehow enough darkness to keep us from ever completing the mystery. I also believe that God has already shown himself to all of us. Someone once told me that Gods voice is a small one in this world. Rubbish! There is no voice more audible on this planet than the voice of God. You hear his voice everywhere, it is we who have grown deaf of hearing. Our sins have deafened the spiritual part of our soul that thinks and wills the good of the other.
There is a lovely Christmas movie, the Polar Express that demonstrates this well. If you have not seen the movie get ready for a spoiler. At the end of the movie, the parents take the little sleigh bell that Santa Claus gave the young boy for a gift. The little boy lost the bell but it was under the tree Christmas day. They take the bell, give it a shake and hear nothing. Assuming it’s broken they immediately put it down. But whenever the little boy shook it, he could hear the sweet sound of the bell every single time.
As the parents grew older, they could no longer hear the sound of the bell. They no longer believed and so the sweet sound of the bell would play for them no longer. How sad, right? Well, here we have something much greater than a Catholic saint turned into a commercial myth that goes down chimneys. Here, we have the designer of you and I, the world and everything in between. But the more we became slaves to the pleasures of this world and it’s crafty ways, the less and less we could hear the sweet sound of Gods voice in our hearts.
No, Wisdom will never make its way into a crafty soul nor stay in a body that is in debt to sin;Wisdom:1:4
God cannot enter a soul who willingly chooses to reject Him. But what about those people to whom he gives a special visitation? What about the apparitions and visions he’s given the saints and sinners alike for centuries from St.Paul to Vassula Ryden? Why doesn’t he just show himself in some special way so we can all believe and get on with life?
You’d be surprised to see the brothers (cousins) of Jesus have already asked him this to his face in the Gospel.
As the Jewish feast of Tabernacles drew near, his brothers said to him, “Why not leave this place and go to Judaea, and let your disciples see the works you are doing; if a man wants to be known he does not do things in secret; since you are doing all this, you should let the whole world see.” ·Not even his brothers, in fact, had faith in him. Jesus answered, “The right time for me has not come yet, but any time is the right time for youJohn:7:4-6
People who ask this, as the scripture previously quoted testifies, usually lack faith. There’s always this belief in humans for centuries that if God just showed himself to everyone, and stopped all the secrecy everyone would believe and it would cure everything. But mans will can be so tarnished by incredulity and egoism that seeing isn’t always the cure to the human sinful condition. There are the disciples themselves who kept seeing the miracles God was doing and yet they failed him, one even hung himself following his betrayal.
In the story of the Rich man and Lazarus we see God demonstrating yet again mankind’s incredulous ways. The rich man asks Abraham to go warn his brothers about Hell that they too may not make the same mistake as he did. Abraham ends up telling him that if they wouldn’t listen to the prophets sent by God to them, then even if someone were to rise from the dead they wouldn’t believe.
“The rich man replied, ‘Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house, ·since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.’ ·’They have Moses and the prophets,’ said Abraham, ‘let them listen to them.’ ·’Ah no, father Abraham,’ said the rich man, ‘but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ ·Then Abraham said to him, ‘If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.’ “Luke:16:27-31
When a heart is stubborn, not even the worlds greatest miracle can persuade them. Think of Pharaoh who saw the plagues, the tornado of fire protecting the Hebrews, and the splitting of the red sea. You would think he’d believe, right? But no scriptures tell us his heart was hardened. No matter what God did before him there was no way he was letting them Hebrews escape slavery. This is why I’m always suspect of anyone who asks for a spectacular visible sign as a condition for belief.
They’re hiding from God as Adam and Eve once did, using excuses as to why they’re hiding. And having their demands met to take a peek behind the supernatural curtain is one of them excuses. They already know such a demand would never be met, so it’s a great get out clause they’ve devised for themselves but like the person who cheats at a test, they deceive themselves.
The reason I’ve outlined all of the above before I give an appropriate concise response, is that I desired to show you humanity is sick. In order to make the cure (faith) easier we must first identify the wound and sickness of the soul.
The reason God does not show himself to everyone is because his hands are tied to mans free will. We have the ability to choose God or say no to Him. If God were to show Himself on a large scale to the whole of humanity, it would violate that free will. Would you like it if someone forced you to love them against your will?
If you who benefit from having the choice to choose whom you love, why not benefit from being able to choose God? In a world that loves to have its “choices”, I find it very strange how we corner God, asking him to meet our demands that would result in us being forced to love Him. Very strange proposition don’t you think?
Is God violating the free will of the minority he does choose to reveal Himself to in a supernatural manner? No, even these have the free will to reject what it is they look upon. St.Mary had the vision of the angel but she could have said “No”, and instead she used her free will to give a “Yes” that would change the world forever. St.Thomas the doubter, who refused to believe Jesus had risen unless his demands were met also had free will.
Jesus appeared before Him, and because he saw he believed. But that is because he had already the spiritual disposition to accept what he saw. He could have refused and chose to see the nearest psychiatrist and spend his life in disbelief. No, instead he took a leap of faith. Looking at him, Jesus actually told him that people are more blessed who don’t see yet believe.
St.Mary and St.Thomas were both predisposed to knowing God intimately that their souls, being void of egoism, were capable of accepting the vision. Many in this world are known by God to be stubborn, that not even the worlds greatest proofs of his existence would make much of a difference at all.
Why? Because they don’t WANT to believe their free will always being intact. As previously quoted from scripture, wisdom will not make its way into a crafty soul. Someone who is completely cold to the love of God, could never be ready to experience his presence.
This is why conversations with atheists are fruitless. Why? Because they’ve already made their mind up. They’re so hopelessly committed to their cause that no amount of conversation or miracles will suffice. Even if atheists are converted through intellectual conversation, it’s still only an intellectual conversion.
The conversion of the heart is the authentic one, and it’s so hard to achieve that even the monks in their cells right now are praying for it. It’s very tricky to sit in a room with someone who ferociously already defends the doctrine they’re convinced of. I always advise against lengthy conversations with someone of that caliber.
What have we learned today? That God has already shown himself to the world and they reject Him. Using scripture He has shown that even if their demands for a supernatural sign are met, they don’t readily believe. Finally, he has proven that the only way to him is to surrender our free will to him and take a leap of faith regardless of what see or don’t see.
You must understand that we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians:5:7). No visual, no sign will ever violate our free will and ability to choose him, therefore we must take a leap of faith. Who here, when their fiance says she loves Him would bring a band of lawyers and put her on trial to produce the evidence? No, we leap into our lovers arms and we accept that he/she loves us. Lets do the same with the Lord.