Even more astounding, Aquinas speaks of the beatific vision as something utterly satisfying yet inexhaustible. Come life’s end, we will see God, but we will still not comprehend God. We will not “take God in,” as we say. It will not be like Toto, pulling back a curtain to reveal the Wizard of Oz pulling levers. Such a comprehensible God could be reduced to a mental concept. Remember St. Augustine: “If you can understand it, it is not God.” That applies in the afterlife as well.
— Read on www.americamagazine.org/faith/2022/02/16/homily-seventh-sunday-catholic-love-enemy-242413
Speak this way about Christianity or Catholicism in shallow waters and you maybe deemed a heretic. We like certainty and authoritative declarations. Uncertainty is to destabilizing for some believers and definitely for certain religious denominations or preachers.
When we turn to the Priestly caste, by whatever title we bestow on them, in times of suffering or when our mortality is near its end, we don’t want uncertainty or insincerity. We want hope, consolation, and support. Sometimes we may want answers that cannot be answered by the best spiritual leaders in our community. Many priest fail here, not out of lack of trying, but out of over trying to help. They simply do not want to not deliver their faith in a manner which can bolster your faith when your tank is running on empty.
This is where you may enter that Dark night referenced by St. John of the Cross. Being alone with God or with an emptiness that is unbearable and seemingly timeless can be terrifying. Think of it as a spiritual crisis or spiritual reckoning disorienting you beyond intellectual and emotive imagination, just totally transcending your religious training, your philosophical reasoning, your human experiences to date.
No, we don’t all have to experience dark nights. Some believers can seemingly always live in the comfort of unshaken belief. Others have to journey into the dark and wrestle with the existential. And yet another group rides through life without a second thought of their origin or their eventual end.
The article drives home a humorous satire…getting to the holy gates expecting a creator defined by your upbringing and imagination…and being confronted by your enemy is God.
Defining and refining your spiritual beliefs is uniquely human as far as we know. I secretly believe elephants and dolphins may know somethings we don’t, but let’s assume we own the market on seeking living a spiritual life. All we truly have is how we treat each other now, with our brief life here on earth.