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Presence, Power

All devils tell me, God is absent, weak.
I need to think. The truth’s not far to seek.

While “Western civilisation” is crumbling around our ears, faster and faster, it is very necessary to remember that “Our help is in the name of the Lord,” and in the intercession of His Mother, and in nobody and nothing less. But few people, even Catholics, fully realise just how close to us and how powerful Almighty God is. If they did realise, they might turn rather more easily to prayer, which is in fact the only serious obstacle today to the advance of evil. By a just punishment for the apostasy of mankind, God has let fall under the control of His enemies every other means of influence and power.

But who is God? “Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.”

Firstly, Father. “Maker of Heaven and earth,” but not just a manufacturer who manufactures a product and then leaves it to make its own way in the world. The best comparison to illustrate God’s care and His love for the creatures that He makes, is with the love of a human father for his children which will extend normally to his or their death, and beyond. But a human father’s love is finite, God’s love is infinite.

Secondly, Almighty. Perhaps the simplest way to grasp the might or power of God is to accept the Church’s teaching that God is the Creator, and every other being that exists is a creature which God created, and that creation is out of nothing. Whenever we human beings “create” anything, it is always out of some pre-existing material, for instance a chair out of wood, a house out of bricks, the bricks out of sand, and so on. The more I think about it, the more difficult it becomes to imagine anything being created out of nothing, for the good reason that all changes I know around me are out of something. If I could grasp something coming out of nothing, I would begin to see the meaning of “Almighty.”

Thirdly, maker of all things. Of all things material or “visible,” to the very end of the farthest galaxy – St Ignatius of Loyola used to stand outside his room in Rome and just gaze at the stars at night to profit by the demonstration of God’s infinite power. And much more, of all things spiritual or “invisible,” like the soul that gives life and the faculties of reason and free-will to every human being alive, to say nothing of the whole non-material nine Orders of angels. You doubt that they exist, because they are immaterial? Do you still doubt that there is a far more than human intelligence ordering the evil around us today?

But while many people may be ready to admit that nothing could come into existence without a Creator, what few people grasp is that the creative action of God continues for every moment that the existing thing continues to exist, so that if God for one moment ceased to maintain in existence an existing thing, it would instantly drop back into the nothingness out of which it came. A comparison may help. To start an electric train, its driver must pull towards him what is called the “dead man’s switch,” but he must keep pulling it towards him for the train to keep moving, because the switch or lever is spring-loaded so that if he lets go, the lever will automatically spring back and the train will stop. In this way the train is protected from racing onwards uncontrolled if the driver, for instance, dies at the switch. Thus the train starts by the lever first being pulled, but the same lever must go on being pulled for the train to run.

In the same way God creates a creature in its first moment but it would drop back into nothing if He did not maintain that creative action, or “conserve” the creature for the duration of the thing’s existence. In other words just as the first pull on the lever starts the train but the same lever must go on being pulled for the train to run, so the only difference between God’s creating a creature and conserving it is the difference between the first moment of its existence and every succeeding moment. Thus every moment that I exist, God is active inside me, creating-conserving both my soul and my body. Thus He is more present to all of me than I am to myself, doing what God alone can do, namely hold me out of nothing. And I doubt that He is powerful? Or I doubt that He is close to me? Or I doubt that He cares for me?

Kyrie eleison.

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