The Year of Faith Reflection Corner
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
‘Do you believe in God?’ Despite the atheistic trends in popular culture, a Gallup poll last year found that 92% of Americans answer this question in the affirmative. But if Gallup were to ask ‘Who is God?’ the diversity of ‘gods’ might astound us. For instance, if we were to meet the god of a jihadist Muslim or the god of the New Age movement on the streets, would we recognize him as the God we profess belief in?
In the Creed we not only profess our belief that God is but especially Who God is.
What does it mean when we call God Father? By professing God to be Father we immediately recognize that God is relational, God is personal. God is not some vague primal energy or force. God is a Person, and not only a Person but a Father, our Father; and what does a Father do? He loves his children, He protects and provides for them, He shares their sorrow and rejoices in their happiness. And a father does not love his children in a general way but loves each of his children in particular, individually. That means you.
What does it mean when we call God the Maker of heaven and earth? It may seem to us almost too obvious—the term ‘God’ is practically synonymous today with Creator. In fact, when Gallup asked their question ‘Do you believe in God?’ people almost certainly understood this question to mean ‘Do you believe in a Creator?’ But when we affirm God as Creator we are also professing the sometimes less apparent truth that creation is good. Matter, material things, bodies are good because they are created by a God Who is good. Further, as the book of Wisdom tells us “Now if out of joy in [creation’s] beauty they thought [creatures] gods, let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these, for the original source of beauty fashioned them. Or if they were struck by their might and energy, let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them. For from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author, by analogy is seen.”
-Sr. Maria Teresa, OP