Have you ever noticed that we come to know God by way of analogy? Analogies are how we understand something that cannot be observed, understood and named by means of our human senses. Analogies are one way that we can know something of God.
We say that God is like this or God is like that because “this and that” are the things we know. We observe creation and know that creation is of God. Therefore, when we see good and beautiful things in creation we attribute that to God. We come to believe that in that observable thing we come to know something of our invisible God.
It is interesting to think that many of the analogies we use are contradictory. We may say that God is powerful, yet gentle. We say that God is ancient yet ever-new. We may wonder at God by watching something as small as an ant or as vast as the ocean. In the same way we can use the negative and ugly things that we observe in the world to say what God is not like. We say that God is not mean, God is not darkness and we say that God does no harm.
The fact that our human thought is so limited leaves us groping for any means of coming to know, understand and describe God. Putting the best of our human knowledge and characteristics, the best of our observable beauty and power, the best of our imagining and our dreaming to God is the only way we can express our knowing of God. It is how we understand God as God has been revealed to us through human experience.
We realize that knowing God through analogies is dreadfully limited. And yet, it is sometimes all we have. It is through what we know of the temporal world that we can lift our thoughts to something greater…to something of God.
Sister Lisa Maurer
Sister Lisa Maurer was born and raised in Sleep Eye, Minnesota. Before entering the Monastery in 2007, she taught and coached in Catholic Schools within the New Ulm Diocese. Sister Lisa Made her Perpetual Monastic Profession in July ll, 2012. Her first ministry as a Benedictine Sister was working at the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth. Currently she is Director of Mission Integration for the Benedictine Health System.