Quote: Fr. Robert Barron

From Word on Fire: Sermon 609: The Deafness of Secular Man:

“God, as the Bible speaks of him, is not an item in the world. He is not one being among many, not one of the things that our minds can control, our eyes can see…

“When Moses asked for God’s name, the Lord replies, “I Am who I Am.” God is not a conditioned Being, but is rather, as Thomas Aquinas said, “the sheer act of Being itself.” God is the unconditioned reality that precedes, transcends and suffuses all conditioned things.

“Think of the scientist’s or the philosopher’s mind, or the mind of an ordinary person… The mind seeks truth. It seeks true things, true states of affairs. God is not one of the true things that the mind might find. Rather, God is the Truth itself, which has already seized the mind whenever it searches for true things. Think of that deep passion for the truth which has gripped the mind of any good scientist or philosopher; that passion for the unconditioned truth. God is not so much one of the things you might find: He’s the condition for the possibility of knowing at all.

“The will seeks good things. It seeks to perform good acts. But God is not one of the good things that the will seeks out, not one of the good things the will might be able to accomplish. Rather, God is Goodness itself. God is the unconditioned good which has already seized the will whenever it acts. What is it that drives us in the moral life, to ethical excellence? What is it that’s driving us to do the right thing? What is that but the Good itself which has already gripped the will? That’s closer to who God is.

“Artists seek to produce and discover beauty. But God isn’t one beautiful thing among many. Rather, God is Beauty itself, that which has already seized the spirit of an artist as she goes about her work. What drives an artist to make beautiful things; this uncompromising passion for the beautiful? That is God. Not the beautiful thing, but the unconditioned Beautiful itself.

“Lawyers and judges at their best seek justice, they seek to render things just, to determine the difference between the just and the unjust. God is not one just thing among many. But God is Justice itself, which has seized the spirit of a lawyer or judge as they seek justice.”

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