IN ONE GOD: Professing the Creed for the Year of Faith
by Melanie Bettinelli on October 18, 2012
IN ONE GOD
by Julie D.
I believe in
one God ...
For a Christian, belief in one God is a no-brainer. For Catholics, who say the Nicene Creed, every Sunday at Mass, this is a part where we may just be snapping to attention, “Oh, it’s time for this ...” as we begin to recite.
And yet, belief in one God is so vital that it begins the creed, it is the central prayer of ancient and modern Israel (Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD), and it was Jesus’ prayer before his Passion that we should know the one God. In fact, it is that prayer is the first thing in the Catechism’s prologue.
“FATHER,... this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (Jn 17:3)
Reflecting on this gives me pause.
This belief is so vital but what does it mean to me? In my life? I am not sure I have ever stopped to think about one God before.
Thankfully, in this reflection, I can leave mind-melting questions about the Trinity out of things. Although I realize that when I am thinking of God, that is where my mind often darts. Straight to the puzzle, the mystery, the thing I will never be able to fully grasp.
As if this matter of one God is so simple.
What immediately comes to mind is that I can trust Him. He is one. He is eternally, everlastingly one and I will not get traded up or down or off to anyone else who cares about me more. The buck stops at His celestial desk in his supreme being. That is reassuring.
I also think of the times when I have let other things become more important than my twenty minutes of prayer time. If I am begrudging that time for conversation with my Creator, do I really have only one God? Am I worshiping something other than Him? It is a good correction to focus on “one” and to shake off some of my attachment to other things.
It is just the beginning of reflections which can go in many directions. The Catechism has some wonderful prompts upon which we can meditate as we strive to grow greater in love for our one God. My husband and I used them as a source of conversation over lunch the other day as we puzzled through some of the things that one God “means” below which did not make an immediate connection for us (hey, we’re bad at praying together—this is how we share our faith).
Above all, use the prompts or your own reflections as an opportunity to make personal contact with our “one God.” That is the one goal which we should hold above all others because it is the one that changes our lives, and hence the whole world.
222 Believing in God, the only One, and loving him with all our being has enormous consequences for our whole life.
223 It means coming to know God’s greatness and majesty:
“Behold, God is great, and we know him not.” Therefore, we must “serve
224 It means living in thanksgiving: if God is the only One, everything we are and have comes from him: “What have you that you did not receive?” “What shall I render to the LORD for all his bounty to
225 It means knowing the unity and true dignity of all men: everyone is made in the image and likeness of God.
226 It means making good use of created things: faith in God, the only One, leads us to use everything that is not God only insofar as it brings us closer to him, and to detach ourselves from it insofar
as it turns us away from him:
My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you.
My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you.
My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to you.
227 It means trusting God in every circumstance, even in adversity. A prayer of St. Teresa of Jesus wonderfully expresses this trust:
Let nothing trouble you / Let nothing frighten you
Everything passes / God never changes
Patience / Obtains all
Whoever has God / Wants for nothing
God alone is enough.
What are your thoughts? What else can we learn from “in one God”?
Julie lives in Dallas with her husband and their two dogs. She’s crazy about their two grown daughters, books, movies, and cooking, but most of all about the Catholic faith. She’s the author of Happy Catholic. She blogs at Happy Catholic, podcasts at Forgotten Classics and A Good Story is Hard to Find, and is on the internet way too much.
Read all the entries in the Blog Series: Credo: Professing the Creed for the Year of Faith.