The Living God is the God of the Living
is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to Him all are alive.”
are none who
were, who are, or who will ever be .... that are not
alive to God.
yet to be!
to be, for they will be — but
are not yet.
they?”, you ask.
I will answer you.
you. How can even they who are to be
— but are not yet –
How can they
“be” before they have “been”, or “are”, or even “were”?
God has given
us the beautiful, if sometimes painful, faculty of memory.
Here, in this repository of our lives, we keep, as it were
alive, things past, and what is present and instantly passes
into what was and is no more. These things reside within
us, even if we would sometimes let them go. They remain
with us, as it were, as things that do not pass, but remain
in some frame of time preserved as a vignette to which we
hearken. In a sense what has been, has never ceased to be
In this we
are like unto God. It is a part of the imago Dei,
the Image of God in which we were created by Him Who created
us in His likeness.
What is before
us, we do not question, even as it passes like so many beads
of mercury that we attempt to grasp, but which ever elude
us and ineluctably fall away into the past. Yet we keep
What we do
not possess is the ability to keep within, that which is
yet to come, yet to pass, yet to be. We nevertheless know
that such things, whatever they may be, will come, and like
their predecessors before them, will come into our lives
and pass into memory where we will keep what is, to us,
God has no
such limitation. He lives in an eternal Present, unbound
by the ambits of time conjugated by temporal limitations
inflected by us in terms of “past”, “present” and “future”.
As we keep what has has been, and what is, within us, experienced
as either present or past — God keeps the “future”, the
things that “will be” (to us) and already “have been” (to
Him). But even this is incorrect, for there are no things
that “have been” to God — only “what is” — what resides
in the Present, the perpetual Present in which His own Being
is lived, enacted – without tense.
This is why
Jesus says, God is the God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God
of Jacob – and not “was” the God of Abraham, the God of
Isaac, the God of Jacob. He IS
their God. He “is” their God, (Who is the “Living God”)
... because they “are” the living before God. They
are present to Him.
You were present
to Him before you were present to your mother in her womb.
You still are!
The totality of your being: your being
before your conception, your being in your mother’s
womb, your being once you have passed beyond it, your
present being, and your being yet to be
— what you will “become” — and more still .... your being
after your being in this life has passed —
IS before God.
As Saint Paul
said, “now we see in part”. God sees the whole. And keeps
Do not sorrow
for your dead as though they are no more.
Do not lay
violent hands upon your yet to be born, as though they are
Do not see
your life as one that has passed.
is — all of
are — all
Jesus tells us,
“to Him all
And this is
great consolation for us — once we have understood well.
lost to God ... not even our own despair and stupidity.
Do not be harsh on yourself. He knows that you are but dust
and ashes — and the gift of life that He has given you —
and those you love ... or ought to.
Geoffrey K. Mondello
for the Boston Catholic Journal
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