ELEISON COMMENTS DCCCLI (November 4, 2023) : SEEKING GOD
From the story of a young Irishman’s recovering his Catholic faith, told briefly in these “Comments” two weeks ago (October 21, #849), it was clear that the mercy of God is still at work even in our godless world to bring souls in line with their eternal salvation, and not leave them to drift with the current to their eternal damnation. God exists. Heaven and Hell exist, and no human being that has once reached the age of reason can avoid spending his eternity in one or the other. An older generation, very broadly speaking, may in our time have settled for the short-lived comforts of materialistic atheism, but there is a younger generation which is still not accepting that those comforts are the best that they can find by way of a meaning for their lives. Let them seek God, as the Old Testament tells them to do :–
“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him,” (Lamentations III, 25). “Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His presence continually !” (1 Chronicles, XVI, 11). “For you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm IX, 10). In fact, God is positively looking out for souls to be seeking Him – “The Lord waits to be gracious to you, He exalts Himself to show mercy to you… blessed are all those who wait for Him” (Isaiah XXX, 18). “Blessed”, because they are on track for Heaven, in this life and in the life to come. Hence the Psalmist exults – “Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice” (Psalm CIV, 3), because they are pursuing the real meaning of their lives, namely as creatures made by and for their Creator, to rejoin Him in the uninterruptable bliss of His Heaven.
In fact, God is so longing to be found by souls, that He lets Himself be found even by souls that were not seeking Him. “I was ready to be sought by those that did not ask for Me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I’ ” (Isaiah LXV, 1). True, certain dispositions of soul are necessary for an uninterested soul to be found in this way by God, as the Book of Wisdom tells us –
“Think of the Lord with uprightness, and seek him with sincerity of heart, because He is found by those who do not put Him to the test, and manifests Himself to those who do not distrust Him (Wisdom I, 1-2). Pride in a soul is the greatest of blockages between the soul and God. Hence the Prophet Sophonias says, “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do His commands, seek righteousness and humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the wrath of the Lord” (Soph. II, 3).
This last quotation is a salutary reminder that seeking God is not for souls today an optional extra, if they wish to deflect the punishment from God that is hanging over all our heads. Events seem to be advancing slowly but inexorably towards a third World War, and it is difficult to imagine that war not turning nuclear at some point. We are already seeing horrors in the Ukraine and Palestine, and mankind as a whole has never been so far distant from God as it is today. But God did not create mankind, nor the universe for mankind, in order to populate Hell, but His Heaven. Therefore He is going to intervene, and soon, before all mankind finishes by choosing Hell. But such is the corruption of men today that only a very severe Chastisement will be enough to turn away the survivors from those sinful delights which they have so known in our time, if not practised, the worst being the mockery of God.
And so Almighty God has His arms wide open to welcome sinners in this last hour before His wrath breaks out, but at the same time life is not a game to be played on man’s terms – “The Lord searches all hearts, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off for ever” (I Chronicles, XXVIII, 9). Let no man today be so foolish as to say, “I am not a religious person”, meaning, “so the Chastisement does not concern me.” He runs a grave risk of understanding all too late how gravely he mistreated the infinite goodness of God.
Readers, read the Old Testament, where God appears
In majesty. Fear Him – or shed eternal tears !
Jer, XXIX 13: You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
14; I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will restore all your fortunes…