My Search for a Tangible God

14 Aug

I remember having a crisis of faith as a child. People were always talking about some God. I would think: “Who’s this ‘God’ anyway? Certainly doesn’t seem to know anything about me or about real human life – some ethereal spirit completely removed from tangible reality?” (Okay, so I didn’t use the words ‘ethereal’ or ‘tangible’, but you get the idea) “Maybe the ancient pagans had it right,” I pondered, “a god of wind and flame, of earth and sky and other such things. That’d be real! Something you can touch and feel – intimate and authentic, somebody close and accountable.”

So I took a deep interest in pagan mythology, drifting away from my superficially Christian upbringing. Earnestly searching for something more real than the fairy-tale Christianity I’d been taught, I looked all over for a truth so real I could touch and consume it. Besides, Christianity was for uptight losers (evidenced by my local youth-group) – wouldn’t want to be one of them! However, I didn’t mind sitting alone in the dark chapel at the local Catholic parish when no-one else was around. It had a hint of incense in the air, and leaning against the cool stone walls, watching the flickering candle-flames, there was a sense of reality and peace to the place. From time to time I’d sneak in there and spend some time in silent… worship, I guess you’d say – before the tabernacle, where He dwelt. Somehow, I knew a real and authentic divine being was actually there with me.

Sometime in the following years, it happened. I realized that the ‘God’ I’d been told about was indeed a lie – but there was a true God. I saw Him. He shattered my darkness and in a moment of aching love I touched Him. The omnipotent creator of existence was real and tangible; He was the God of wind, flame, earth, sky, love, strength, and beauty. He is the God of my people (humanity), and He became man (Christ) and began the transformation of the world by the spread of His sacred kingdom (the Catholic Church). In that Church, I could remain in Him. Apart from it, I could not. Becoming Catholic was not some mere theoretical assent, nor was it just a social club. As a Catholic, I am able to live more in touch with reality. At Mass, I can see and touch God. He is authentic, He is real.

-Cameron Thompson

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