Growing up, I was taught that “God” is infinite (without limit), omnipresent (present everywhere, at all times), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and unconditionally loving. One teaching went to far as to define “God” simply and profoundly as love (1 Jn 4:16).
And yet, everywhere I look, even (especially) within the Church that taught me about God, I find human beings limiting “God.”
- “Sure God is unconditionally loving…..unless or except when…”
- “God loves you without condition, but if you disobey God, you will be condemned to eternal damnation.”
- “God is infinite, except when it comes to those things “not explicitly handed down by the magisterium.”
- “God is everywhere at all times, except in those who don’t believe in Christ.”
- “God is all-powerful, except when it comes to “Satan” or “Lucifer.”
I am continually amazed at all the ways in which human beings limit their “God.” It seems instead of coming to know the Divine, they are creating “God” in their own image: jealous, fickle, wrathful, vengeful, judgmental, hateful, prejudice, racist, etc.
As many know, I’ve had my own run-ins with those seeking to limit God. The local self-appointed inquisition and the Church bishop and chancellor who supported them, for example, who determined that Reiki “is witchcraft and sorcery and the work of the devil.” Their work of limiting God was then furthered by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops when they issued a prohibition against Reiki.
If God is all-powerful, then how can anything limit God’s ability to provide healing and comfort to those in need? Is God’s healing, comfort, or grace limited to only that which is handed down by the Catholic Church? Does God only work through those devoted to a very narrow interpretation of Catholic teaching?
I have questions!!
The Reiki thing happened years ago, and I do what Love calls me to do want anyway, but the limiting of God continues. Just the other day I ran across an article on a popular Catholic website that proclaimed the evils of the Enneagram! The Enneagram? A tool I learned through my CATHOLIC ministry training and which is taught and used by Jesuit and Franciscan spiritual directors? The Enneagram?!
The Enneagram (for those who don’t know) is a popular temperament profile used in both spiritual direction and transpersonal psychology. It is a tool that helps us to identify the lens through which we view our life experiences and the compulsions that might have arisen out of our own woundedness related to this lens. The Enneagram then provides practical tools for healing and transforming the wounds that cause said compulsions so that we might live out of our essential/original nature.
I have found the Enneagram to be a critical tool in the transformational work I do with my clients and students. And yet, according to this guy, Catholics (especially) SHOULD NOT use the Enneagram as it might lead them down the path of evil – specifically the evil of eastern practices.
Not Eastern Practices! Gasp!
So now other culture’s traditions are not only “evil,” but are more powerful than “GOD???”
If I wasn’t a woman of reason, I might find myself confused. Instead, I find the answer to this quandary quite simple…an answer that has been given to us by the very guy who called God LOVE:
He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.
(1 Jn 4:8)
Those who find themselves limiting God apparently don’t know God. I find that to be very sad.
How big is your “God?”