Meditations for Layfolk - God Made Me

God made me. How many men have desired to hear the things that we hear and have not heard them! To think that for thousands of years before the coming of Christ and for all the hundreds of years since He came, there have been unnumbered souls who were anxiously longing to hear that answer with assurance. The problem has always troubled the children of men. As the human race began its uphill climb to the full story of revelation, which it has felt for unceasingly in its heart, it has gradually grown more interested in the problem of its origin, whence it took its rise, and for what purpose, if even for any purpose, it is here. Reason has always faced life with the question on its lips as to what is the business of its existence. The traditions that the race had gathered from its primitive revelation were soon obscured by many myths, so that we are expressly told that when God chose Abraham He called him out from his family that worshipped many gods; but at any rate they worshipped. Somehow, though the truth had become overgrown with the strange growths of time, the light still glimmered beneath all this obstruction. Falsely, inhumanly, distorted into fantastic shapes, the remembrance of the Divine Master lingered as a memory. Man, despite his primitive knowledge, gradually lapsed from the sure doctrine of a Creator; then, also gradually, he began again to piece together the scraps of truth that yet remained, and out of them he formed for himself a faulty and variable gospel.

Then God broke through the silence. Gradually in shafts of illumination, in growing glory from prophet to prophet, the light began to break upon the horizon and to herald the perfect day. In the Old Testament may be followed the unfolding of successive revelation: then when the fulness of time arrived, Christ our Lord, the bright light, appeared: no longer in broken gleams, but in the full splendour of the sun came His revelation. He made known to us the Divine Life and the mysterious working of the Three-in-One, and brought to the human race knowledge of many things that helped it to understand some of the problems that had for so long perplexed it. What had seemed to the wise and devout beyond all human power to know - what still appears so to many of our own generation that are seeking after God in perfect faith and hope and love - can now be understood by a Catholic child. From my earliest years I have been familiar with the thought of God, my Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier. No doubt the very simplicity of my belief, the very fact of its familiarity, the clear way in which it does at once help to the understanding of life, the complete answer it affords to so much that perplexes others, may blind me to the fact of the greatness of the revelation. I cannot conceive myself as without the truth of God s personal creation of me, and consequently do not value as I should the preciousness of that knowledge. Yet the remembrance that it was the death of Christ that purchased it for me should convince me of the divine compassion, whereby I was made conscious in my infancy that God had made me.

That acknowledgement of my dependence upon God for the first beginnings of life, as well as for my continuance in this present existence, is the keystone of my faith. The Infinite Mind that can, because of its very infinity, attend as industriously to each single member as to the whole race, called me into being, purposed my end for His own greater glory, and arranged my life to achieve its decreed destiny. I find myself handicapped by this and that: my passions, my circumstances, the tendency of the environment in which I find myself the evil effect, perhaps, of my hereditary weak ness all seem to prejudice my freedom. Ah well, He made me! I did not choose, but He, the surroundings of my life; therefore He knows more clearly even than do I the difficulties of that life. He is to be my judge: yes, but He made me and will understand. The very fact then that I am His creature is itself of great consolation. Just as I ease my anxieties about others by my consciousness that they are in His keeping, and that if I with all my inherent selfishness can feel disquieted about them, His care and solicitude can be no less, His love being greater: so also is the same thought to steady me, too, in life s perplexities. At my Communions the nearness of that Presence should force the ejaculation from my heart: "Cast all your care on Him, for He hath care of you." Surely Saint Peter when he wrote that phrase had his mind full of the mystery of the death that he had watched from afar off, with eyes that wept bitterly. But no less does the text tell me of His tender care for me, since I am His own handiwork. I shall walk, then, in perfect trust, for God made me.

- text taken from Meditations for Layfolk by Father Bede Jarrett, O.P.