Fr. Romano Guardini
The Wisdom of the Psalms appears to be getting difficult to get a hold of. I got my copy from the library but I notice Amazon had only one copy for sale and other book purveyors on the Internet appear to be in the same boat. I’ve quoted the new revised standard version for each Psalm that Fr. Guardini takes up in my reading selections. These are precious readings. Hope you enjoy them. dj
1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
2 Why do the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
3 Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.
4 But their idols are silver and gold,
made by the hands of men.
5 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but they cannot see;
6 they have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but they cannot smell;
7 they have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but they cannot walk;
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
8 Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.
9 O house of Israel, trust in the LORD—
he is their help and shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD—
he is their help and shield.
11 You who fear him, trust in the LORD—
he is their help and shield.
12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us:
He will bless the house of Israel,
he will bless the house of Aaron,
13 he will bless those who fear the LORD—
small and great alike.
14 May the LORD make you increase,
both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
16 The highest heavens belong to the LORD,
but the earth he has given to man.
17 It is not the dead who praise the LORD,
those who go down to silence;
18 it is we who extol the LORD,
both now and forevermore.
Praise the LORD.
Reference Verse 8: This is a truth we must recognize. What man is, is ultimately determined not by himself but by the divinity in which he believes. Rationalists are in the habit of saying that misconceives of divinity according to his character, his temperament and the needs of his life. Certainly there is something in this. But actually the situation is reversed; man becomes like the divinity in which he believes. And if he does not believe in any then it is this nothingness which determines his inmost being….If man conceives of divinity as pantheism conceives of it, as the world-spirit, the fundamental mystery or the basic nature of the universe, then there is no clear and binding “Thou,” but only hazy indefiniteness. Then this indefiniteness passes into his inmost being and he loses the ability to answer the decisive questions of existence by a clear yes or no; this way and not otherwise…If divinity is absolutely denied undereducated, and radical positivism dominates, tempter is an evil emptiness in the depths of man’s being. It may be covered by the coercion of power, the din of progress, the appearance of prosperity, but it is there, and it makes man interiorly defenseless and leaves him at the mercy of the state.
The Dark Tragedy
We must never forget that our life of faith rests upon a dark tragedy. At first there was the destruction of Paradise and its unimaginable possibilities; then the chosen people accepted the kingship of God at Mt. Sinai but constantly rebelled against it, “stiff necked” so that the account of the journey through the desert is an account of the constant struggle of Moses against their opposition. At the end of the age of “Judges” they demanded an earthly king “such as all the other nations have,” and when Samuel was indignant at their delusion, God said to him, “Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to thee. For they have not rejected thee, but me, that I should not reign over them. According to all their works they have done from the day that I brought them out of Egypt until this day; as they have forsaken me and served strange gods, so do they also unto thee (1Samuel. 8: 6-8). The history of the Kings, who should have been God’s stewards, is a continuous succession of faithfulness and apostasy, and those who fell away were more numerous than those who remained faithful. And finally when he stepped into history, Whom the prophets had foretold, the Messiahs, the Son of God, and wished to set up the kingdom of God in all the fullness of grace, then He was brought to trial because He presumed to claim royal dignity, and He was nailed to the cross. This is what happened. …We are living in a vast historical whole, a series of events stretching from the beginnings of the human race to the present day, and going towards an end of which the Lord said no one knows when it shall be reached, “not the day nor the hour.”
We are living in the midst of these events. The great world powers have fallen away from the divine Lord and ever more definitely declared their independence. And now we are experiencing a new epoch: great nations, almost half of the earth, are saying not only, “without God” but, “away with God!” They not only permit atheism and encourage it but they persecute the faith, destroy it methodically and completely in adults and in the mind and heart of children, so that in comparison the hostility of the Roman Empire seems almost harmless.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Reference: (John 1:10-14)
“The time is accomplished and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.” Then — this is the unexpressed continuation of the thought — it will arrive. Not in the sense of the eschatological kingdom the end of time, when Christ returns for judgment, but now, in the course of history, changing the conditions of the believers’ existence. This did not happen, for those addressed by Jesus did not receive Him, But his word was not destroyed.
The kingdom of God is not “here,” but always in the act of coming — in everyone of us if we repent and believe, in every community, in every work, every stage of history, if men accept the call. Of course, the work of the kingdom of God is laborious, and it is attacked from within and without, hoping for the final, victorious coming of the Lord, when He hall summon the whole of history before His judgment and His victory shall be revealed.
It is wonderful to thing that in me, in my great poverty, the kingdom of God can come. In what I am, how I live, in the way in which I carry out the duties of my state, in my family, in the way I carry my misfortunes, the kingdom of God can come. It can come in every thought, every action obedient to the call. This is the mystery of God’s nobility; that is, he does not force His kingdom upon us, but makes it dependent on us whether we accept it or not.
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
2 He wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3 and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
4 He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.
5 He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.
6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7 But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
8 they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.
10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the air nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for man to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine,
and bread that sustains his heart.
16 The trees of the LORD are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the pine trees.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the coneys.
19 The moon marks off the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then man goes out to his work,
to his labor until evening.
24 How many are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
27 These all look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works-
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the LORD.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Praise the LORD.
Reference: Psalm 104 (verses 29-30)
When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
The whole psalm speaks of the Holy Spirit, the Creator, the Lord of all beings…the word spirit brings this out openly…The history of the word shows that many meanings are combined in it. First that of breath, that mysterious thing which we cannot see but which we feel, which continually moves in an out in our breast, makes speech possible and sustains life. ‘then the wind, the breath of the world which is also invisible and yet real, whether a breeze or a storm; of which we “know not whence he cometh and whither he goeth (John 3:8). Then the soul, the interior being, intangible yet so intensive, which feels pain and joy and desire, which knows and wills and in dreams lives a mysterious life. Then the concept passes into that of spirit, especially that which feels pain and joy and desire, which knows and wills and in dreams lives a mysterious life, spirit which surmises and beholds the vision, and which awakens in the prophet as inspiration. All this comes together in the concept of the Spirit of God, or rather, it becomes the material by which the experience of his infinite creative power is expressed. It was overwhelmingly revealed on the day of Pentecost when the entrance of the Pneuma into history revealed itself by the elements of wind and fire, by prophetic speech and interior renewal.
Beholding the World Prophetically
The believer of the Old Testament does not behold the world scientifically nor aesthetically, but prophetically, as a countenance through which God looks at him, God Who Himself dwells in light inaccessible. And we should ask ourselves if here is not something here that we should recover. In the course of modern development our eyes have become dim. Not our natural eyes — although even these do not see clearly enough, otherwise we would not say about man the foolish things we say — but the eyes of faith. Have these eyes not forgotten how to see the world as a “work” and so to see Him who made it? To see it as a form which conceals and yet reveals Him? And do we not have occasion to ask God to enlighten us.
Science And Faith
The world was created by spirit, not out of dull necessity by nature. It’s glory could not move a man so much if it were merely the result of dead causality. Certainly there are natural forces and natural laws, but they are more than what science and general culture behold in them. Every form of nature is a mysterious document, plain to him whose eyes are open….the Unjust are those who say, “There is no God.” Then, as now, they declared that the world is autonomous, a structure of natural forces and natural laws. And they think this explains everything. In reality they make the world barren and dark. It would be vain for man with his little mind to try to bring a little light into such an existence. Then, after a few thousand or million years the earth would be glaciated an all would be silent and dead….True scientific research is something noble; it is striving to reach by natural intelligence what it can attain: the laws of nature, the course of history, the structure of language, the system of law. But all this, in spite of its importance and the abundance of its material is not the end. Beyond it there is mystery, and it is of this that faith speaks.
But it becomes disastrous if science claims to be able to explain matters of faith. Then it is doing something for which it cannot be responsible. Similarly, it would be disastrous if one who is speaking about revelation and faith would claim by means of these to be able to judge the things that belong to science. That would not be fitting. Everything must be kept in order. Then everything serves God.
1 Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD from the heavens,
praise him in the heights above.
2 Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for he commanded and they were created.
6 He set them in place for ever and ever;
he gave a decree that will never pass away.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
9 you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and maidens,
old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 He has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his saints,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the LORD.
Praise, Creation And Nature
What does it mean, to praise? Let us turn to the simplest reality. If we praise a person, what do we say? “You did that well.” — that refer to his work; or perhaps, “You are wise.” — that concerns himself. Praise means that whatever is well done, good or beautiful is recognized and valued as such and that the person who has accomplished it or to whom it belongs is told this. Then it brings joy to him who hears this and also to him who unselfishly expresses it.
But can this be done in relation to God? Evidently it can. He himself did it. In the story of creation we read that whenever a day was ended and the work stood in its perfection, “God saw it and it was good.” And at the conclusion, “God saw all the things that he had made, and they were very good.” God approves of everything that was brought into being by His creative power and gives it the right to exist. He declares that it is good and it should be and that it is an honor to God that He created it. His honor is the glory of being who He is and of having created what He created. “I will not give my glory to another.” (Isaiah 42:8) He said. No one shall ever say that someone else created the world or that it is uncreated and exists in its own right. No one shall ever say that the world is meaningless or wrong insofar as He created it. And God will demand a reckoning of everyone who by sin or negligence spoils His work.
When man praises he freely accepts this glory of God. He recognizes the wonder of God’s work and expresses this in works. Actually, the world should praise God, but it is unable to do so. Trees, beasts, sea and stars are voiceless. The soul and heart of man must know and feel His glory and his mouth must convey the praise to God.
Is it easy for man to think this way?…Something gets in the way, something which determines the thought of modern man within the last few centuries — the concept of nature. This is for him the simply existent, the self-evident, self-valid, and self-based; that for which one cannot conceive a beginning or an end, and whose cause cannot reasonably be sought for. The man whose mind is ruled by this view can only say, “How mighty is the world!” He can feel its fullness and say, “How good that the world exists!” He may be lifted to enthusiasm by its beauty. But all this is not what the Psalm means by the praise of God, for the world so conceived of claims to exist by its own power.
But the world is not “nature” but “creation.” This concept of course includes all that philosophy, poetry and science can say about nature, but it takes on a different meaning. The concept of creation restores the world to God’s hand. Anyone who tries to realize this recognizes also how difficult it is. But it must be done, otherwise we fall into unbelief, living with the idea that the universe which knows nothing of God and only adding a few Christian accents.
The Function Of Man Is To Praise
But what is praise? …it is something conscious, lofty and festive….(In Psalm 148) the heaven and earth and stars are called upon — it is they who should praise. But they cannot do this; they have neither consciousness nor freedom, nor speech. In them praise is fettered, it sleeps. So man comes, takes all this into his heart and gives speech to that which has been voiceless….this is man’s function, to translate into words of praise the essential praise that lies in all things
Misunderstanding The Work Of Creation
The work of creation — we think of it according to the teachings of science — is so ordered that it can be misunderstood as autonomous nature. The fact that something has been made obtrudes itself the more strongly the more imperfect it is. The more perfect it is, the more it is, so to speak, released from dependence upon the maker and appears to be self-sufficient. The world has this mysterious quality and that is what we misunderstand when we speak of “nature.”….It is not like the work of man, which is made today and disintegrates tomorrow. It remains. This does not refer to the variations which also belongs to that which we call “nature”: the rhythms of light, the movements of the constellations, the seasons, the birth and death of individual beings. All this is part of an order that abides. But the reference is to the structure of the whole, the impression of solidity, reality, dependability which every element of creation produces. And in a deeper sense the fact that no mythical, demonic power of destruction prevails over the existence of the world.
The Ability To Praise
The man who voices this praise is close to all things. Not in pantheistic fashion; for him too the word is valid, “He commanded and they were created.” There is no mingling of God and the world, but the closeness which he feels is that of creature to creature. In their createdness all things are brothers and sisters, In this intimacy he can set free the word that is bound in them and lift it up. God receives, as it were, the glory of the work that he expended on creation, receives it back from the mouth of the man who believes in Him and loves Him….The word of praise has largely disappeared from our lips, just as today the joy in beauty seems to be disappearing. Poets vie with each other in words of strife and anguish…We must reacquire the ability to praise…The world is created, the heavens, the light of the sun, the mountain, the trees, all are created, and praise be He who has created them — all this is prayer and we must strive to acquire it again.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
The Region Of God’s Light
Everything that is, is known. Everything moves in the region of God’s light. Everything by its being and enduring expresses the image of truth which the thought of God implanted it it by creating it….Our self-knowledge is the endeavor to think that which God knows about us. Our truth is in His knowledge, and we know only so much about ourselves as we know through Him…This is a thought that can give us peace — peace and breadth of vision. How wonderful it is that everything abides in truth and that untruth is only a shadow between us and all that it….We can understand the piety of the Old Testament only if we remember that there everything is penetrated by the experience of God’s reality…God was not merely an idea, but more real for the Jews of that time than the ground on which they stood…No distance in space, no remoteness offshoot, no veil of potential futurity is able to withdraw anything from the glance of God…We stand not merely in the light of his glance but in the verdict of his judgment.
The Good Shepherd
John 10: 10-15
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep….
Christ comes in the freedom of his love to lead them to life, to the fullness of life, abundant as flowing water. He knows those who believe in him and they know him. It is the intimate knowledge of he Redeemer and the redeemed…Christ cares for them because they are his, bought at the price of his atonement. …Christ knows his sheep as the eternal Father knows the Son and as the Son knows the Father…the relationship between the shepherd and the flock is drawn into the abyss of divinity…the intimacy of Jesus with his own extends even through the end, through death…perhaps we have at some time had a presentiment of our own death, have envisioned the final hour of absolute loneliness, when everything will fall away; everything will abandon us. And he more ambitious the words that were spoken, the more completely shall everything which they promised disappear including wealth, progress and culture. Only our confidence in Christ will not be deceived. He remains. He accompanies us. He dies with everyone who believes; and he will “raise him up again in the last day (John6:39)
Nature in the Old Testament
In the Psalms we encounter nature…It is not nature in he way in which it is treated by our lyric poets…Nature is the work of God’s creative power, a revelation of his glory, the instrument of His might. His word I active in all things. There is as yet no conception of what we call the laws of nature. The Old Testament knows nothing of this yet…here the word of God, His will that rules, bestows and punishes, takes the place of the laws of nature. When it rains it is God who sends the rain….ultimately it really is God who causes these things, but He does it by intermediary causes: the energies of nature, the power of the growth of the seed, the organs of life. But these intermediary causes play no part in the conceptions of the Old Testament, and God does everything immediately even to the last detail. Hence the religious intensity of the language….But in a different sense that in mythology, everything is filled with God. Yet he is never Nature itself, neither its order, nor its soul. God is very close to nature but there is never a fusion. Always He is the Lord, Lord of nature because He is Lord of himself. His hand fashions all that exists; His word is active in every occurrence; but He does not need nature nor does He intermingle with it. Nature never succeeds in being God or becoming a part of Him. He always rises above it, is far beyond it, sufficient unto Himself, unapproachable in His majesty.
The World in the Old Testament
The world does not need to exist. It is not a natural necessity; it depends upon the free will of God. Man is the final expression of the world. His conduct determines the meaning of its existence. If he is guilty, the possibility arises that God may recall the decree of creation (Gen 6:6) “It repented him that he had made man o n the earth and he was touched inwardly with sorrow of heart.”
The activity portrayed in Psalm 28 — that the creatures of God, the angels, but also man who prays and sings, behold what happens upon earth and bring it into their adorations — are we today capable of this?…It was not difficult for medieval man. He viewed the world as a cosmos. If we look at Dante’s Divine Comedy we find it most complete image. The world appears as an enormous sphere, filled and penetrated by the powers of God….But then the exact sciences began to prevail and they created the modern concept of “nature.” Medieval man could never have understood what this means. For him everything had a symbolic meaning; everything revealed God. The medieval cathedrals express this divine symbolism which underlies every object and every relation. But science asks for the natural how and why. Everywhere it finds the fact which is as it is, immovable and unchangeable, proved by experiment and expressed by a law which states what must happen, and how and why. At the same time man begins to conceive of the world as not only great but infinite. Where then is God? Man no longer seems to have a proper place for him. So he tries to draw him into the world and a modern pantheism arises which conceives of God as the World-Soul…
A Revolt Against Absolute Truth
This God of the Old Testament has created the world and man — each one of us. He did this not because he was compelled to by some necessity but in complete freedom. He willed it because He willed it. And he did this, we say, out of love. The meaning of this — when God who has infinite love and fruitfulness in himself, has love for the finite, for man — surpasses all reason. It is not God who constitutes the problem, that is, whether He is or how He is, but the finite, that is how it can be and why, and for what reason. God is not the question, but man — man and the world. Therefore, in a conversion, a metanoia, of thought, which we must accomplish in sheer reliance on revelation, the question which we have asked is reversed, and so is the answer. Atheism, which constantly spreads and grows ever more decidedly states just he opposite: man, nature, and the work of man which uses eh stuff of nature, ae the only realities and suffice for everything. “God” is a creation of man, necessary and meaningful as long as man is still immature. Now man has become mature and takes the final step of maturity. Now he no longer needs “God.” Man and his world constitute the whole. This satisfies in many persons the self-love of present day man. Actually it is the revolt against absolute truth. To believe means to make a decisions in favor of the truth. The believer sees the greatness of the world, overcomes the claim of its apparent independence, and, in faith and prayer, restores it to the hand of God.
He who attacks God’s truth condemns man to folly. Hence the dreadfulness of the experiment which is being tried today to form men without God, nations without God. This is being undertaken for the first time…but if we ask “What shall I do?” Wisdom replies, You must learn to distinguish. You must bring into your life things that are of divine character, things that do not merely pile up or excite, but that have value…And what has value? Wisdom replies “the good!” When we have performed a duty, even thought it was unpleasant, the situation changes, the action is past, but something remains: the good that has been done. This has divine character.
Touched By Grace
What happens when a man is touched by grace and believes? He is not magically transformed. No magic power of good comes upon him; he does not suddenly become a different person. To hear the call of God and to stand within the covenant — or let us speak of ourselves: to hear the word of Christ and decide to follow him, does not mean to be at once a changed man. The new thing comes into man as a germ and he is as he is. A word a truth, a scene form the life of the Lord falls into the soul and begins to grow.
No One Can Say “I am a Christian.”
Strictly speaking no one can say “I am a Christian,” but only “I want to be one.”…We must not despair of ourselves. Sometimes we are tempted to lose courage when we notice again and again the same faults: anger, uncharitableness sloth, untruthfulness. Shall we ever escape them? There is only one answer to this: you must go on, day by day, hour by hour, for you are not yet a Christian but by honest effort you will become one.
God’s name is “I-am the I-am” It means that God is the one who alone is real of Himself and possesses all power. We as men “are” not in the true sense. But God is He whose essential nature means that He is. An abyss of a name. An abyss for the mind which ponders upon it. A vaster name for the heart which experiences it. When this takes place there opens within the man himself, the finite man, a corresponding unfathomable depth, of which he is otherwise unconscious…You cannot say ‘God is here and I also.’…You are only ‘before him’. The unapproachableness of God’s majesty stands between. Then it may happen that we receive the grace to experience the name of God.