God on the Inside

This morning as part of the Lenten Bible Study on campus led by Seminarians for Peace and Justice and earlier this week in Lectio I’ve had the opportunity to read through some of the Psalms.

As we prayed Psalm 51 this morning I noted the same phrase “my inmost being” that I heard during Lectio on Monday night from Psalm 103. Another student pointed out to me that the Hebrew word that yields this translation is actually more along the lines of a word like guts.

Lately, reading the fourteenth century Catholic mystic, Catherine of Siena, and pondering this phrase, I’ve been thinking about how God permeates our being and even mingles within our very substance. Where Christianity has often been so afraid of sounding “too Eastern,” we’re never afraid to admit that we’re made in the image of God and that we frequently see and experience God through one another.

In Pslam 51, the Psalmist asks God to cast him not away from God’s presence; it occurred to others and to me this morning that it’s often we, not God, who do that casting. It’s just fascinating how so much of our faith is an inward struggle, a spiritual struggle, where we are being constantly in need of being reconciled to God inside even as God is active in our outside world.

For our world to be renewed, our spirit, God on the inside, must be renewed, refreshed, and present.  Something so powerful about Catherine of Siena is that her introspection is precisely what led her to love her neighbors and to seek justice in her world. To me it’s powerful that God’s ability to use my life in service in this world rests upon my attention to “my inmost being,” to God on the inside.

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