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Sr Maria Chen - How I See God

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How I See God

1. How the non-religious see God

When I was in middle school, I had no religious beliefs but was curious about the different gods. It is said that after death the Buddhists would go to the Western Paradise to see Buddha or reincarnate while the Catholics would go to heaven to see God or go to purgatory or hell. I didn’t know where the believers of different religions go after death, or whether there were different gods in control of another world. Could it be possible that these gods, like us human folks, had their own divisions of jurisdiction? Out of curiosity, with my classmates, I went to ask our teacher who was a devout Buddhist. Our teacher told us, "All religions are the same, they want people to be good; and all gods are the same too, only that they appear in different forms." She told us that many people believed that all gods were the same, but under different circumstances, each person came to believe in a different god. Before embracing the Catholic faith, I believed what the teacher said but I was confused about all these gods.  God to me was unattainable and so far away. I had never heard of a god who said that he was he, that he was born for me and even died for me. The first time when I heard that there was a God who loved us so deeply, I was very surprised.

2. The Church teaches who God is

As an adult, I joined a Catholic catechism class and a Bible reading class. Gradually I knew more about the Triune God and that He is omniscient and omnipotent. Out of love, He created us so that we can share and enjoy His love. Jesus came to teach us to call Him "Father". We have a very intimate relationship with Him. God is a good father who loves us, and a good friend who shares our joys and sorrows every day. When we are sad and hurt, His grace anoints and soothes our soul. God is the source of all goodness. God is love. Where there is love, there is God. When we love one another, God is present in us. Besides, the invisible God is personally present in our weak brothers and sisters and becomes visible. He teaches us to love one another, and to serve others as if we were serving Him. We can also see the face of our merciful God in those who are holy and those who belong to Him. Through other people, God allows us to know who He is and lets us experience His love. Also, through others, God tells us how to love others (and how to love Him).

3. The God I experience

In prayers, I feel that Jesus is carrying my cross with me. Because of that, I am able to carry my cross. The God I experience is alive, living right in my heart. He looks after me like a kind father and provides everything I need. He accepts my weakness, supports me, keeps me company, helps me face my everyday life and rewards me with his peace and joy. He shares all my joy, anger and sorrow. If I don’t know how to express my inner pain and grievances, He lets me understands that he knows everything. He can see through me and knows me better than I know myself. He knows everything before I open my mouth. In face of numerous problems or great difficulties, with His grace, everything can be solved easily. The more I open myself to know Him, the more I find His presence in my life, just as He promised, “I am with you always”. In everyday life, I feel His care and concern, and my life is transformed by Him. In Him, I feel real peace and joy, and extremely gladness. God is in our hearts and in our midst. He is not far away at all, nor does he exist in abstraction. God is love. As long as you experience it with your heart, you can feel the presence of God in ordinary love.

Sr Maria Chen

“I am the way and the truth and the life”  John 14:6


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