Sunday, October 7, 2012

Experiencing God

Is there a God? A young man writing in the Kyeongyang Magazine has wrestled with this question for some time, and now discusses what effects it has had on his life. It's a question, he says, that is not freely expressed with family and friends. Those who have accepted belief in God are not the one's you go to for help in answering this question. For him, searching for the answer was to remain a secret that was not a secret.

As a child he enjoyed playing in the parish churchyard with his friends. Later, many of his friends moved to the city, and his own family moved to a nearby city that was close enough to his parish church to continue going to Mass. But he did not go because he wanted to; he went because he was forced to go. Gradually, pumped up with his school learning, he had more doubts about what was written in the Scriptures, but through it all he kept asking the same troubling question, Is there a God?

He continued the search for God even though he admitted to not being properly qualified to make the search, and in fact did finally give up the attempt. But he didn't miss Mass even though his mother was the reason for attending. He  enjoyed the sermons and in college was involved in Catholic groups. It was during this time that he came across Fr. Cha's book, which answered the questions of an industrialist concerning God, religion, and humanity. The book helped him find a solution to his quest.

The passage that was especially meaningful to him: "When a question comes to mind with persistent seriousness, one should search for the answer. When even minor problems come to mind, we may have difficulty sleeping. Why are we not more concerned about the serious problems of life, like how and why we got to be here. When faced with these important questions, we often act as if we are looking at a far-off mountain with our hands  behind our back. To have doubts is not the problem, but to have doubts and not search for answers is a serious problem."

Another line from the book that meant a great deal to him: "God is not an existence to be proven but an existence to be experienced." Until he came across that line, he had been trying to understand God with his head and not working to experience him with his whole being. "To go to the writings of the wise is in itself wisdom," he quotes from the book.

Motivated by what he read in Fr. Cha's book, he began reading the Scriptures, philosophy and theology books, and prayed. After many months, he came to a feeling of God's love, which ultimately moved him to enter the seminary. He doesn't know what the future has in store for him, but he no longer fears or worries about it. He lives sustained by hope and peace, because he found God's will for himself.

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