See God in everything

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THIS should be like an instinct in us. Everything that we are and that we do should be referred to God. In fact, everything that happens to us, every event in our life, whether considered humanly speaking as good or bad, should be referred to God. Otherwise, we would be putting ourselves in a radically dangerous, if not erroneous, situation.

Our Catechism practically tells us so when it spoke about our Christian creed. “The whole Creed speaks of God,” it says, “and when it also speaks of man and of the world it does so in relation to God.” (CCC 199) Thus, we have to learn how to refer everything to God.

And that’s because God, being the Creator, is always in his creatures, and in everything that happens in the world. He is the measure and standard of what is true, good and beautiful, which comprise the very essence of love.

We have to be wary of our tendency to take God for granted and prefer to rely more on our own estimation of things, based on some purely human and natural elements that cannot fully capture the essence of truth and love.

We are reminded of this danger in that gospel episode where Christ returned to his native place and provoked consternation and disbelief among his townmates. “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” they asked. “Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren James and Joseph, and Simon and Jude; and his sisters, are they all with us? Whence therefore has he all these things.” (Mt 13,55-56)

This is a very common danger to us, and is at bottom a result of letting simply our senses, feelings and our other ways of purely human estimation to guide us rather than our faith, and its necessary companions of hope and charity.

With this frame of mind, we sooner or later would get used to things and would fall into routine. We would start building our own world that would depend only on our very limited and fragile powers. Our worldview would have us, instead of God, as the very center of the universe. Everything would be regarded exclusively in relation to us, and not to God.

Little by little, we would be isolating ourselves from others, and especially from God. What would worsen things is the false sensation that we can be on our own, that we can afford not to be related to others because of the new technologies that can intoxicate us into thinking that we are very powerful and can live on our own alone.

We have to be more aware of this danger of familiarity and install the necessary defenses against it. More than that, we have to aggressively cultivate the art of always being amazed at God and at all his works. We need to be constantly conscious that God continues to intervene in our life. That should be the proper state for us to be in.

We have to understand, though, that this abiding state of amazement that we should try to develop is not a matter simply of sensations. Of course, it would be good if we can always feel amazed and in awe. But given the limitations of our bodily organism, we cannot expect that to happen all the time.

The ideal abiding state of amazement and of always referring everything to God is more a matter of conviction, of something spiritual, moral and supernatural. It should be the result of grace that is corresponded to generously and heroically by us.