God The Father Almighty

There is one and only one God, as He expressed through the prophet Isaiah: "I am God, there is no other; I am God, there is none like me." (Isaiah 46.9) God exists eternally and His nature does not change. He is omnipotent (all powerful). All creation is created, sustained, and perpetuated in Him. "'I am the Alpha and the Omega', says the Lord God, 'the One Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty.'" (Revelations 1.8)

God progressively revealed Himself in the history of humanity through the people if Israel. "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone!" (Deuteronomy 6.4) He revealed the mystery of His name to Moses: "I AM who am." (Exodus 3.14) Jesus confirmed His identity as One with God: "Jesus said to them, 'Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.'" (John 8.58)

Throughout its history, humanity has searched for the meaning of its existence. Some attributed the mystery of what could not be understood to "the gods", submitting themselves to unknown powers, perhaps motivated by fear of the unknown or the desire to control what they could not. Others deified the passions which instinctively flowed from within them, and in doing so, allowed their hearts to be enslaved by their desires. Both of these approaches find their origin in the self and not in God. It is from God that human existence flows and not vice-versa.

It is from God that all life flows, and it is through the love of God that His life flows through us. The presence of idols - anything we consider more important than God - blocks the flow of His life to us and leads us away from Him. The greatest commandment was given to God's people in ancient times and confirmed by Jesus: "Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6.5) Striving to love God with our whole being allows no room for anything to come between us and God.

To Moses, God revealed His character: "The Lord passed before him and cried out, "The Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, continuing his kindness for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless." (Exodus 34.6-7) St. Paul declared Jesus to be: "Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1.24) St. John declared: "God is love" (1 John 4.8) and that "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." (John 3.16)

God's character is summarized in one word in the Creed: almighty. The Creator of all has not left His creation to evolve on its own; He actively sustains its life from moment to moment. Through the prophet Isaiah, He explained His role in the events of our lives and in the world: "At the beginning I foretell the outcome; in advance, things not yet done. I say that my plan shall stand, I accomplish my every purpose." (Isaiah 46.10) This plan is His will. His will for us is, above all, rooted in His mercy, as Jesus said: "it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost." (Matthew 18.14) The Almighty knows what we need, what is best for us, and He provides this for us. The most effective way we can live is to strive to always be in accord with His will. Jesus advises us to "Seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides." (Matthew 6.33) Even in the depths of our most difficult tribulations, God is with us. In our weakness, we draw our strength from His power, and we trust in the words declared by the angel Gabriel to Mary, that "nothing will be impossible for God." (Luke 1.37)

Through Jesus, we are able to approach the almighty God as "Our Father" (Matthew 6.9) St. Paul assures us that we can approach Him as a loving Father with confidence: "As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!'" (Galatians 4.6)

This poem expresses the love with which the almighty Father holds His children.



Father Of Merciful Love

Our God is One and only One
In Him, all being has its source;
Apart from His love, there is none
Who can sustain us on our course.

To Moses, the Lord God revealed
His power, glory, and His name:
Through ages past, He had concealed
His name - Yahweh - "I AM who am".

The Father's love exudes mercy:
We are His children through His Son;
He calls us home and sets us free
To live in Him - our salvation.

He provides for our ev'ry need;
Safeguards us with His mighty hand;
Any sin, His grace will exceed --
Our lives can unfold as He planned.

In the Father, our trust is placed;
By His mercy, all sin's effaced.


Holy Spirit, help us adore
The Father, whose almighty love,
Draws us to love Him from our core -
In all, may our hearts look above. Amen.






References:

New American Bible - Catholic Edition

Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 198-227, 268-278

Pope Benedict XVI, Introduction to Christianity,
2004 Ignatius Press, San Francisco, p. 103 -115


prepared by:

Paul Buis


(c) Paul Buis, 2006