The other day, in a time of meditation I was thinking about God in Heaven. The thought hit me that in Heaven God looks upon the concept of Time in a different way than we do. God's time is the past, the present and the future wrapped into one instance. He simply IS! I do not imply that He does not know how we think about time. God knows everything!
I do not remember how I got to meditate on the subject of time, perhaps because my health isn't so great and I feel that my time is not indefinite. Then came the Election, which left me quite unhappy (I won't go into it, for now), and also the after-effects of the Superstorm Sandy, which put a lot of people out of home and work, in an area I used to live and work at one time. I don't know if these happenings brought my mood down into the basement, perhaps it was the reason. I was really unhappy last week and this week, but I am slowly healing. I realized a few days ago, that God hasn't taken away my usual cheerfulness, but I allowed that to happen. We all have happy and unhappy times. I do not have such unhappy times often, but the combination of events led me to cry and moan for a while.
Friends tried to cheer me up, and I am grateful for that. But ultimately, I have to accept that God continues to spiritually carry me and support me and without His attention to my moodswings, I just would not be able to carry on. The Holy Spirit is a powerful influence for all of us.
As I said above, God's time is past, present, and future rolled into one instance - meaning that He simply IS. There is no WAS, HAS BEEN, or WILL BE in Heaven. Now I must have read this someplace, but for the life of me, I cannot recall where.
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) is found (actually on the subject of praise): "2639 Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because HE IS. It shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart who love God in faith before seeing him in glory. By praise, the Spirit is joined to our spirits to bear witness that we are children of God,121 testifying to the only Son in whom we are adopted and by whom we glorify the Father. Praise embraces the other forms of prayer and carries them toward him who is its source and goal: the “one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist.”122 (213)"
The footnote refers to Article 213: "213 The revelation of the ineffable name “I Am who Am” contains then the truth that God alone IS. The Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, and following it the Church’s Tradition, understood the divine name in this sense: God is the fullness of Being and of every perfection, without origin and without end. All creatures receive all that they are and have from him; but he alone is his very being, and he is of himself everything that he is. (41)"
God is the fullness of Being and of every perfection, without origin and without end. (See Art. 213, above)—hence the thought "God's time is past, present, and future rolled into one instance (instant)." And one can meditate about this concept for a long time really, because God IS perfection - He misses nothing, He does not need anything, and He doesn't even need us. But He loves us deeply and intimately. No wonder we praise Him, and we should do this continually by shunning every idea that opposes His goodness and love. Then why do we suffer so? That is the age old question that just doesn't want to go away—it almost seems as if we love to suffer because we are somehow attracted to suffering. Why is it that when we have experienced something negative we always seem to be drawn back to it. Remember, Satan is also active and now more so than ever - he does not love God. Do not listen to his evil advice!
We can argue "until the cows come home" why Our Lord allowed this big superstorm to hit the Northeast (of USA), as some people opine. But when you think it through, this is part of an ongoing climate change which is caused by man's misuse of the environment (remember all these big smokestacks of yesteryear blasting carcinogens and other bad substances into the atmosphere?), and there are other reasons. I leave it to the scientists to explain it to us, except that usually scientists make it so complicated that we need additional help to understand what they are talking about!
God loves us deeply and intimately. The type of relationship as between a parent and child. You can talk to God in the same way. It brings us closer to Him. Talk to Him softly, and with determination, expressing thoughts of admiration, not in an emotional way, but with meaning nonetheless. Never tell God anything that you do not mean. When we love God enough, we will pay more attention to pleasing Him more and more often, by curtailing sin. Sin is something we (humans) do purposely (if it is not done with full knowledge and will, than it isn't sin). I know that it is sinful to purposely overeat (because it tastes so good) - that's a weakness that must be remedied. Would St. Francis stuff himself with food, even if he had plenty. No, because St. Francis was known for his fasting all the time. So next time we feel compelled to bite into that big creamy piece of chocolade cake to excess, maybe the thought would arise that we are not pleasing God. Big sins are bad, of course, but little sins can lead to big sins, so let's not make a habit of it! Please God in all things, all the time!
My mood feels a lot cheerier already! Praise God!
God bless you!
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
November 12, 2012