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Archive for Saturday, December 10, 2005

Faith forum

December 10, 2005

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How can we see God through the actions of others?

Self-sacrificing love evidence of God

Jayd Henricks, instructor and associate director of the School of Faith, St. Lawrence Catholic Center, 1631 Crescent Road:

Christianity is an incarnational faith centered in the love of God. What this means is that God works through people to reveal his love for mankind.

Of course, for Christians the most perfect revelation of God's love is Christ. This, incidentally, is the essence of the Christmas season: to celebrate God's entrance into human history. After his resurrection and ascension, however, God did not leave us. Rather, he lives among us through the church and through each other.

When we live a life of self-sacrificing love for the good of others, we reveal God's revelation of himself to us; and when we see this in others, we see the face of God. This revelation of God's love, however, is not a generic spirit of kindness. God's love, the love of charity, is a gift of self to do what is best for the other.

It is other-focused, not self-seeking. It is the love by which a mother sacrifices her own needs for the needs of her child. It is the love by which the martyrs offered their lives as the cost of fidelity to their faith. It is the love by which we choose someone else's good over our own, even at the expense of our own desires. It is in these moments of supreme love that God makes himself known to us.

- Send e-mail to Jayd Henricks at jhenricks@st-lawrence.org.

God reflected in nature, children

Moussa Elbayoumy, director, Islamic Center of Lawrence, 1917 Naismith Drive:

For a believer, God is eternal and omnipresent. We as humans are not physically equipped to see God with our eyes, at least in this earthly life. Being able to be in the physical presence of God and see his face is reserved for those who achieve paradise and look forward to it.

In this life we can still see, feel and comprehend God's presence in every sign of his creation around us. Every creation, no matter how small or large, how beautiful or unnoticeable, is a sign of God's presence. We can see God in the sun rising or setting, in the full moon or small crescent, in a budding flower or a growing tree, in a soothing flow of a stream or rushing waterfall, in an exploding volcano or flickering of a candle.

We can also see God in the smile of a child looking with wonder at the world as it unfolds. We can see God in the love of a mother caring for her child. We can see God in the touch of a friend's hand when we need comfort. We can see God in the compassion of a total stranger reaching out to someone in need.

The Quran (the Muslim holy book) tells us that the universe is full of miracles and signs wide open and clearly visible for those who explore, think and ponder. God is present all around us; all we need is to open our eyes, our minds, and hearts to see him clearly.

- Send e-mail to Moussa Elbayoumy at moussaelbayoumy@yahoo.com.

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