At the very core of the Catholic faith is the belief in God. Without the belief in God there is no belief in the rest of the Catholic faith. You either believe in God or you don’t – it’s the foundational argument of our religion.
But who is God? From where did God come? We’ll explore those questions by taking a look at our profession of faith that we recite each time we are at Mass, the Nicene Creed. I’m willing to bet that you have this whole thing memorized, but never really stopped to take a good look at what you’re saying during Mass. Chances are you’re worried about saying all the words right so you don’t sound stupid to the person next to you during Mass.
All right, so not everyone is like that, but there are many people who go through the motions and never take a moment to reflect on what it is they are actually saying or the reasons they are really at Mass.
At the beginning of the Nicene Creed we profess that “We believe in one God.” God is the only god in which we believe and follow as Christians. There is no other god besides God even though we sometimes fail to recognize God as the ruler of our lives. As it pertains to the faith we only worship the one God, not anyone or anything else. God is at the center of our faith (or at least he should be).
The Creed continues “the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.” God is the divine being from which all things come ‘ even the things we cannot see or do not know. God made heaven, earth, angels, saints, our bodies, our souls, everything!
This part of the Creed also tells us that there is a physical realm that we can see and that there is a spiritual realm that we cannot see. God created it all. So, who is God? He is our Heavenly Father who formed us and everything else. We share in all both parts of this creation because we have both a body and a soul.
That is just the first four lines of the Nicene Creed and they sure are packed with some juicy stuff about our Creator. One question remains, however ‘ from where did God come? Well, we believe that God always existed and, in fact, God did not come from anything! Everything came from God. This is stated in our belief that God is the “maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.”
This isn’t all that Catholics believe about God though. There is even more! We believe that there is one God, but is manifested in three persons. We call this the Mystery of the Trinity. In short, there is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, each having distinct personalities.
Belief in God is necessary for salvation. No one can essentially prove that God exists by using methods of science or other means. Believing in God is an act of faith.
How can I come to know God?
Say a magic little prayer and…no, just kidding.
Coming to know God is life’s most precious joys because you enter into a relationship with your Creator ‘ the one who created you out of love and desires for you to share with him all his glory. The Church believes that people desire God and only in God will they find the truth and happiness that we constantly seek. God is always pouring out his love for us and it’s up to us to turn to God. He will never stop loving you!
Knowing God takes all one’s heart, mind and soul. It also can take time. Knowing God is not one of having scientific proof that God exists, but by the seeking out of God one’s heart becomes more and more convinced that God exists. It requires patience and weeding out the distractions in your life. Often times we spend much of our lives with a complete lack of silence ‘ always having the radio or the TV on. Just take a moment to pause in silence and listen for God. He is there.
What about all the needless suffering?
A popular argument against God is that if he really loves us so much then why is there all the suffering and pain in the world. There are a few responses to that question. One is that there is pain and suffering in the world not due to God, but due to sin that humanity brought into the world.
It is humankind that has chosen to separate itself from God and therefore causing the pain and suffering that was not in the initial plan of Creation as outlined in the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God made everything wonderful and perfect for us, but by the sin of Adam we now suffer.
Another response, and one that fits well into the first one, is that through pain and suffering we find God, we finally see the need to seek God and thereby form a closer relationship with him. Have you ever had an experience where you were really injured and you have a lot of free time while recovering you started to read the Bible more? Chances are you have not, but that is just one example of how suffering brings people closer to God.
Our lives can be filled with many distractions that take away our time from God and suffering and hardships in this world remind us that we cannot do it alone ‘ we need the love and grace of God which we seek and he freely gives. Jesus reminds us that even though we may be suffering now it is later that we will get our reward (Mt. 5:3-12). We should not be angry with God for suffering, but use it as a chance to seek him and develop a closer relationship with him.
22 thoughts on “Who is God?”
God is not three persons. That would mean three thrones. Jesus is one with the unseen Father in him. Jesus is in the form of the holy Spirit guiding people into all truth. The Pope is not the Father. The gold and gem covered Satan wanted to put the Father Spirit into his prison.1 Peter 3:19 – 20.KJV Old Scofield Study Bible. Satan was not able to do that. Jesus obeyed the father perfectly. Satan was unable to steal God’s throne. One thing people don’t see, and it is this. Jesus did not charge a price for anything. Jesus paid a price, but money was not used. Christs peacful mind in our mind, is what keeps us out of Satan’s holding pen, for final judgment. They are burned up in God’s light. They are reduced to ashes, body and soul. They were married to the Devil fornicating against God. We are made in God’s nude image. They were sinning against themselves. They were born of fornication, even as Christs enemies, not being of the seed of Abraham, even when they were the literal seed of Abraham. Christs enemies needed to be born again.
All the above reveals the futility of religious belief. One comes to belief either through indoctrination in youth, or later in conversion. Just imagine if the blank slate of your mind at birth could remain in that state until consciousness emerged, and your eventual beliefs were formulated by your analysis of earthly realities. In other words, your beliefs would be the product of the “real world”, as opposed to versions of some extra-natural (or supernatural) world which remains totally unproven. You would be grounded in reality, and happier. You would face death with equanimity, a opposed to the fear Catholics (and Protestants as well) experience.
How can a creator God who is all powerful and benevolent have made a world in which sentient, pain and fear feeling animals have to tear each other apart to be eaten —- in order to live? I have not found much /any Abrahamic theology about this or any Christian who has been able to give me an even remotely acceptable answer. Human suffering is ‘covered’ by the doctrines of Original Sin / Adam’s Sin, the Fall and Free Will, etc — although I do not find this plausible it is at least AN answer and essential belief for most Christians None of it appears to apply to animals. Answers to the ‘problem of pain’ are (almost) always answered just with regard to humans —– I think ‘regard’ is a good choice of words. Do Christians have any regard for the life and welfare of animals, based on their religion? Does God?
If you read Genesis chapter 6 you’ll find that the food that was taken into the ark was vegan, for man and animal. It wasn’t until after they came out of the ark that the fear came in and men were allowed to eat certain animals. But if you read Genesis chapter 9 you’ll find out that the covenant that God made with man He also made with the animals… and their blood will be required at your hand. We will have to explain to God why we killed each and every animal. Every bite of flesh you’ll have to account for; every bite of flesh is a dead animal, and you will have to explain why…KJV Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
God knows and loves every single one…
And don’t forget the Sabbath Law about leaving the ox in the ditch. God loves that ox so much that He will let you work on the Sabbath to save it…
You will know on the last day. Are you willing to bet that there is no God? If you do, you will lose and that is not a bet you should take lightly. Just saying. Love you in Christ. :).
how do I no went I got the holy spirit in me
Catholics, especially western or US catholics are just now coming out of 50+ years of weak catechesis,( the teaching of the faith). With the introduction of “The Catechism Of The Catholic Church”, encouragement to become more bible literate, and networks such as EWTN we now have the opportunity to learn the fullness of the faith. Catholics are Christians. Catholics recognize our brothers and sisters who have been baptized in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Catholics believe in the historically provable unbroken chain of Christ’s teachings as passed down from the Apostles to the present day. Most Catholics are not trained in “chapter and verse” thus we struggle with evangelization, yet Jesus is the very heart of our faith ( We are The Church of Christ Catholic) and the scripture is provided in a very systematic way at each and every daily mass throughout the whole world. In around 400’s A.D. the Catholic Church ‘canonized’ the bible that all churches still use to this day. Some Old Testament Books were removed during the reformation in about 1600 A.D. that still remain in Catholic Bibles such as the Book of Wisdom. The Mass is not a re-crucifying of Jesus, as we too believe that He died once for all. We do not worship his mother but give to her great honor and believe she can pray or intercede for our needs with her son, just as any saint in heaven can. We do believe that Jesus literally feeds us spiritually via his body and blood in the eucharist. Catholics believe the church holds “The Fullness of Faith”, “that they should all be one as you and I are one”, referring to Jesus’s prayer to the Father. God bless all Christians as we work out our salvation……which is by faith, through the grace of Christ Jesus.
So do Catholics believe in the Rapture? Becuase my boyfriend was raised catholic and he wants us to marry and have children and raise them as Catholic. I myself was raised in a Christian home, but I never understood Catholic religion. I always thought that people who are Catholic were Christians. However, a lot of people seem to disagree. I know that two an not walk together as one unless they are equally yoked and
Sorry I didn’t get to finish what I was typing:) I was saying that I know two can not walk together unless they are equally yoked and my family will also be against my relationship to a man who doesn’t believe the things we do. My boyfriend says that we believe in the same God and that’s what really matters, and that saying you are a Christian doesn’t really mean that’s your belief or religion. He also mentioned that he would like me to convert to his religion and attend Catholic church services together as a couple and raise are kids there. I just want to make sure we are both on the same page with are faith. I’m sorry, just very curious. Please help me understand more about being Catholic. Is there really a big difference, like some people tend to believe?? Thank you so much.
There are similarities between the Catholic and Christian churches, however there are differences as well. First, if your boyfriend believes that they are the same and that believing in one God is all that matters, why does he expect you to convert to Catholicism? There is obviously a difference to him. Yes, we believe that there is one God manifested in three persons-the Trinity, but as you can see in the vagueness in this article of how to find God, there is a difference. Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to a relationship with God, and an eternity in Heaven in the Christian faith, however this is not the case in the Catholic church (as my research has shown). There are also 66 books in the Christian Bible, Catholics recognize 73. Christians hold that the Bible is the sole authority , but Catholics believe that Scripture, Apostolic tradition, and the Magisterium (all bishops and the pope)are sources of authority. Another main disagreement between Catholics and Christians is Heaven and Hell. Christians do not believe that you can be prayed out of Hell, nor do they believe that there is a purgatory. You cannot serve time in purgatory and then move into heaven. Christians believe that once a person dies they are immediately judged and sent to either Heaven or Hell for eternity. This is by no means exhaustive, but it is a start for you to start up a conversation with your boyfriend. Has your boyfriend been open to attending your church, as much as he wants you to attend his? It sounds like you have reservations so, read your Bible, talk with your pastor, and research what the Catholic church believes as much as you can. From the little you’ve said, and the fact that you aren’t getting answers from your boyfriend, it sounds like your boyfriend doesn’t know all that he believes either ( I mean this with all respect). This isn’t about which religion or church to follow, but about souls, your soul, your boyfriend’s, and your future children. When souls are at stake, start with the Bible. I suggest, you read the Bible with your boyfriend too. Do a comparison, what does the Christian church say, what does the Catholic church say, and then what does the Bible say about it. I do want to state that despite the differences, I’m sure there those who that are truly saved and will be in Heaven in the Catholic church, just as there are those that aren’t truly saved in the Christian church. I hope this helps somewhat to answer your question!
You should say Catholics and Protestants because Catholics are also Christians,but not all Christians are Catholics.
I’m sorry but this is just incorrect. I suggest you look more into the one true Catholic Faith more.
We do not believe you can be “prayed out of Hell”. We too believe there are two destinations: Hell and Heaven. After death, we are personally judged to one of these locations. Purgatory is not Hell or Heaven. It is a separate place that serves for those who go to Heaven, yet still owe their due. For instance, imagine you break a window. The owner of the house is compassionate and decides to not put charges against you, but by his own love decides to forgive you. However, the fact remains that there is still a window. Purgatory is for those of us who get to heaven but have not done ample penance (ie paying for the window). There is a Scripture verse I cannot remember verbatim but that goes something like, the littlest bit will be paid in due by fire or similar to this.
We pray for those in purgatory so as to hasten the process of their purification in this way. God is above time and all. Hopefully they in Heaven will pray for us.
We in addition believe that this judgement is just a taste of the Final judgement that is at the end of time, which is the general judgement by Christ.
In addition, you say we don’t believe Jesus is the Way to God, this is wrong. Jesus is the only Way to God in the Catholic Faith. Perhaps you are getting bad sources or, perhaps you are confused with our belief in the POSSIBILITY of those who are not Christians being saved. But this is a POSSIBILITY based upon them coming to accept Christ and the Truth even without their explicit knowledge of this happening. And it’s only a possibility. By all means the regular method of salvation can be attested by this quote: outside the Church there is no salvation. We believe the Body of Christ is visible as the Incarnation was visible and has been since Christ established it. One must be a part of this body. What happens to an arm ripped off the body? It dies. One Lord, One Baptism, One Faith. We desire the unity of the Christian faith to be in the Catholic Church, and indeed our Lord Jesus Christ prayed for this unity. Protestant Bibles used to have 73 Books as that’s how many books were in the Bible when canonized by the Catholic Church in the 4th century. However, some time after the Protestant revolt in the 1500s they took some books out, including Maccabbees which includes an exhortation telling us to pray for the dead.
All Catholics are Christians but not all Christians are Catholics.
” why does God allow innocent children to suffer through no fault of their own.?”
The answer you can find in the Bible (Old Testament) God punishes to 3rd or 4th generation.
God is Just
This is the Truth
The bible teaches everything if you don’t know which religion to turn to read your bible catholic Christian jehovahs witness all say the same thing’s but in different word’s
Marie that unguided type of reading of the Bible could be dangerous because understanding makes a great difference
We also believe in the trinity: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are all coequal. Three persons, one God. That Christ is present under the appearance of bread and wine when a Roman Catholic priest or Eastern Orthodox priest consecrate the bread during mass/divine liturgy. We believe Jesus is 100% human and 100% God.
As a lapsed catholic i know what faith in God is. I understand we have a choice of good or evil,but why does God allow innocent children to suffer through no fault of their own.
Suffering is an unfortunate consequence of free will. God gives us the ability to choose our actions, but with that comes that we live with the consequences of our choices and of others’ choices. Through the original sin, man fell, and thus the human condition is one of suffering and ailment.
So people have a chance to do good works/show love.
One of my favorite stories about Gods mercy is the story of lamb whose legs The Shepard broke and then carried around his neck. At first when I heard this story I thought to myself, why would God hurt an innocent creature, how was this justified?!? Then when I heard the rest of the story I understood that God allowed this because the lamb kept wandering away, and if he didn’t do this the lamb would have been in grave danger.
At first glance we do not always understand why things must be, that’s kind of the point, in my opinion, to trust that God knows better. In the case of the child suffering we do not know why God does this. It could be that the child’s parents, who are to teach the child about God and his love for us, have strayed from their love of God and through their child’s suffering they will turn to him and therefore their child as well. It is my understanding that our ultimate goal is to get to heaven and the suffering we feel on earth far less compares to the suffering we would feel in hell or even purgatory. If God allows us suffering while here on earth I believe it is a grace from God, because he knows far better than I what lies ahead for me… And if I am not listening, which definitely isn’t easy in today’s day in age, I thank Him for any suffering He brings me that will ultimately lead me to true unity with Him.