Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | August 9, 2008

God is everywhere (well, secondly anyway)

Disclaimer: This entry will be updated with new content from time to time.

And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life and man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning wherein he placed man whom he had formed. And the Lord God brought forth of the ground all manner of trees, fair to behold, and pleasant to eat of: the tree of life also in the midst of paradise: and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of the place of pleasure to the water paradise, which from thence is divided into four heads. The name of the one is the Phison: that is it which compasseth all the hand of Hevilath, where gold groweth. And the gold of that land was very good: there is found bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is the Gehon: the same it is that compasseth all the land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Tigris: the same passeth along by the Assyrians. And the Fourth river is Euphrates. And the Lord God took man, and put him into the paradise of pleasure, to dress it, and keep it. (Gen 2, 7-15)

God reveals to man that He is Creator in the Land of Paradise and more specifically the Garden of Eden. The act of creation is a revelation of the Divine. Which as we’re going to come to find out today, whenever an act of the Divine is revealed it’s ALWAYS done at a SPECIFIC place. hence, the title of today’s blog.

And the Lord appeared to him in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent in the very heat of the day. And when he had lifted up his eyes there appeared to him three men standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground. And he said: Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant. But I will fetch a little water and wash ye your feet and rest ye under the tree. And I will set a morsel of bread and strengthen ye your heart, afterwards you shall pass on: for therefore are you come aside to your servant. And they said: Do as thou hast spoken. Abraham made haste into the tent of Sara, and said to her: Make haste, temper together three measures of flour and made cakes upon the hearth. And he himself ran to the herd, and took from there thence a calf very tender and very good and gave it to a young man: who made haste and boiled it. He took also butter and milk, and the calf which he had boiled and set before them: but he stood by them under the tree. And when they had eaten, they said to him: Where is Sara thy wife? He answered: Lo, she is in the tent. And he said to him: I will return and come to thee at this time, life accompanying, and Sara thy wife shall have a son. Which when Sara heard, she laughed behind the door of the tent. (Gen 18, 1-10)

Here we see God revealing himself as Trinity to Abraham implicitly (as God was standing in front of the Tent in 3 persons, you do the math). In this example here he’s in the vale (valley) of Mambre.

But come, and I will send thee to Pharao, that thou hast bring forth my people, the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said to God: Who am I that I should go to Pharao, and should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said to him: I will be with thee: and this thou shalt have for a sign that I sent thee: When thou shalt have brought my people out of Egypt thou shalt offer sacrifice to God upon that mountain. Moses said to God: Lo, I shall go to the children of Israel, and say to them: The God of your Fathers hath sent me to you. If they should say to me: What is his name? what shall I say to them? God said to Moses: I am who am. He said: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: He is who is; hath sent me to you. (Ex 3, 10-14)

As we know in the Bible that God appears to Moses in the Burning Bush in the mountain of Horeb. As you can tell, there’s a specific theme that’s going on in the readings that I have chosen. Let us continue with further examples of my point.

a. the Ten Commandments were revealed at Mt. Sinai
b. the Sacrifice of Abraham occurred at the Mountain
c. The Transfiguration occurred at Mt. Tabor
d. The Nativity occurred in Bethlehem
e. The Annunciation occurred in Nazareth
f. Calvary occurred in Jerusalem
g. St. Paul’s conversion was on his way to Damascus.

What is the point of me making these references to specific places. God being everywhere is something that is taken for granted today, however whenever acts of the Divine or when God chose to reveal himself, the place was always specific.

The SOV2 teaches “God is present in the people” thus you don’t need a Tabernacle in the center of the Church.

As with any good lie, there is an element of truth to the statement. It is true that God is present in the people in a spiritual sense. However this spiritual sense is different from the presence that is in the Tabernacle.

At the moment of the Words of Consecration, the bread and wine undergo transubstantiation into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. If we break down the word transubstantiation we get the following: trans-change (greek meta)- substantia-substance, essence (greek υποστασιs), tion-act of. In other words, the act of change of substance. Hence St. Thomas Aquainus uses stubstantia in describing the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. (This was also to avoid those that thought that Catholics were Cannibals for partaking in the Eucharist, which we are absolutely not…the physical presence as told by St. Luke on the road to Emasus (Lk 24, 13-35) isn’t meant in terms of his physical body and blood, but the essence, as it IS the Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity of Jesus.

If this presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is NOT in the Parish Church at the center (notice I’m saying the Parish Church, as the Cathedral and the Basilica Churches have different Eccelsiology and Architecture. The Bishops’ Chair was always located behind the altar (in the case of the Roman Basilica’s the altar being on the West end) in an action reflective of the High Priesthood of the OT, more on this in another entry). It merely becomes an empty building, kind of like museum in a sense to paraphrase the Pope in his book Spirit of the Liturgy. (which all should read)

The Pope also alludes to the fact that this presence of God universal isn’t an intuitive fact. (as referenced by above. You can see God in all of creation of course, but the presence has not been something that has been intuitively understood. (I’ll put the quote from Spirit of the Liturgy when I have the book in front of me)

To be continued……

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