Friday, February 21, 2014

How Do I Know God?

There is a topic in Philosophy known as Epistemology, the study of knowledge. How do we know what we know? Yes, you can spend an entire semester delving into this question. Experience is one way we come to know things. Phenomenology is a branch of Philosophy which considers experiences, phenomenon (this is a simplification). Are you still with me?

How do I know God? When it comes to the content of faith, we can know God in two ways - and these two ways are related to each other. Firstly, there is the content of revelation, what God has revealed. Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition as interpreted by the Church is how we access this knowledge of God. We could call this knowing about God. Here I would like to point out that knowing about God and knowing God are two distinct things. Secondly, having an experience of God in your life is a way to know Him. Experience has an important role in faith. The Bible is a written testimony of things seen, heard and experienced.

So this is where I am going with these ramblings: In our faith we are told that God is a loving and providing Father. Do you know this from your experience? Can you call to mind a situation when you knew that God was a loving Father? When I hear confessions, sometimes I will give a penance I call "A Rosary of Gratitude." Take up a regular rosary and on each bead call to mind something good in your life. Each bead becomes a moment to affirm and give thanks for knowing our loving Father God.

+ Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
Yonkers, NY
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