There are people who, instead of believing in God, believe in those who talk about God. They only know God «by hearsay». They lack personal experience. Maybe they go to religious services, but never open their heart to God. They never stop to perceive God’s presence in their inmost being.
It’s a common phenomenon: we go about circling around ourselves, but outside of ourselves; we work and enjoy, love and suffer, live and grow old, but our life goes on without mystery and a final horizon.
Even those of us who call ourselves believers often don’t know what it means to «be before God». It’s difficult for us to see ourselves as fragile beings, but infinitely loved by God. We don’t know how to admire God’s unfathomable greatness or enjoy God close presence. We don’t know how to invoke or praise.
How sad it is to see how people discuss about God in certain TV programs. They talk «by hearsay». They debate what they don’t know about. The guests get all worked up talking about the Pope, but no one is heard talking with any depth about that Mystery we believers call «God».
To discover God you don’t need discussions about religion or arguments from others. Each one must make their own path and live their own experience. It’s not enough to criticize religion in its most deformed aspects. It’s necessary to seek personally God’s face. Open up paths in our own life.
When over the years one has lived religion as a duty or a burden, only this personal experience can unblock the path to God: to be able to prove, though only in a germinal and humble way, that it’s good to believe, that God does good.
This encounter with God is never easy. What’s important is to seek. Don’t close any door; don’t dismiss any call. Keep seeking, maybe with the last breath of our power. Often the only thing we can offer God is our desire to encounter God.
God doesn’t hide Self from those who seek God and ask about God. Sooner or later we receive God’s unmistakable «visit». Then everything changes. What we believed from afar, is near. What we felt as threatening, is our best friend. We can say the same words Job used: «Until now I knew you only by hearsay; but now I’ve seen you with my own eyes».
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf