We Believe in God August 1999
August is a very special month for me. Not only does it have two important solemnities of our Lady, but two major events in my life happened on these two feast days of Mary.
The first happened eight years ago. The Lord gave me a princess on the feast of the Queenship of Mary. The second happened a year ago when the Lord took my father with him on the feast of Mary's Assumption. Two great feasts of Mary and two important events in my life.
Coincidence? Think what you will but for me, this is NOT a coincidence. A coincidence is an event that happened by chance. Very often, we hear the phrase 'good luck' or 'bad luck'. And quite surprisingly, we hear this from Christians. These terms have been so used in our language that we use them without really thinking of what it means.
Luck, whether good or bad is something that happens without any reason. To attribute something to luck or to wish someone good luck is to believe in superstition. And to believe in superstition is to believe that something else controls events. But like I said, as Christians we do not believe that things just happen.
What then do we believe in?
We believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth. That is part of what we believe. Our actions therefore should be based on what we believe.
God is a Father. "All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming from the Father of lights with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change" (James 1:17). As a Father, he gives us not only the best but the perfect gifts because he is perfect - unchanging and pure. Not only does he know our needs, he is Yahweh Jireh -the God who provides (Genesis 22:8) and gives us everything that we need.
As a Father also, God is to be loved AND feared. The current stress on a loving God has made people think that they can do anything they want. Their argument is that because God is love, he accepts them as they are so they can be what they want to be. And God understands and they will go to heaven. Such a thought and teaching is trash. As a Father, God loves us - in fact, he IS love. But as a father, God also has to discipline us. "whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges." (Hebrews 12:6).
Sadly though, some pastors and even Catholic bishops refuse to call God as Father. Instead they call God everything - Lord, Almighty and Loving God or Parent and even Mother. This is very wrong and dangerous. It dilutes the gospel to attract others to the Church. The intention is good but this goes against everything that Jesus revealed to us through the gospel. As for me, if my Lord says that God is a Father, then he is a Father. Saying otherwise is saying that Jesus is wrong and is lying. I hope that people who say that have a good reason to give when they come face to face with Jesus.
God is Almighty. "The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is his name" (Luke 1:49). Because God is our Father and he is mighty, he does great things not only for Mary, but for us if we are obedient to him. If God is Almighty, then no one is more powerful than he is. If he is more powerful than anything else in all creation then what is there to be afraid of?
God is Creator of heaven and earth. "Enter, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the Lord who made us" (Psalm 95:6). If God created us, then this should be our attitude towards him - humility. We cannot come to the Lord to demand that he give us something. We cannot tell God to give us something because we have done something for him. We cannot do anything to add or diminish his glory. He is God - the Creator of all things and therefore he has the final say on how things are to be done and when things are to happen. Therefore living a life in the Lord means living a life of humility.
Humility is realizing our position with respect to the Lord. It is realizing that God is our Father who wants only the best for us and he is Almighty who has control over all things. We cannot do anything on our own. In children's shows today, we hear them teaching the children that "we can do anything that we want to do" or that "If you put your mind to it, anything is possible." Well this is good for the child's self-esteem but this is wrong. What should be taught to children is that "I can do all things through Christ who strenthens me." (Phil 4:13). It is only when we realize this that we recognize the truth. Things happen only if they are within the will of the Lord.
Let us therefore pray that when we recite this part of the Creed, we will truly be able to live it out in humility and total submission to the Lord.