Reflecting on the previous posting on Truth and Existence, there are a number of conclusions that can be drawn for our lives and our communion with God:
1. God is generous. He does not begrudge existence to anything that exists. Even the devil is not begrudged his existence.
2. This generosity of God is not an indication of laissez faire, but of love. God has given us existence as a gift, not as a punishment. And He loves even what we cannot bear to love and blesses all with existence.
3. There is a difference between “true existence” and “mere existence.” The first is to exist in communion with God, where our existence is rooted in grounded in the love of God and the love of neighbor. Such an existence is a continual becoming – becoming like God. Mere existence is just that – it is an existence that has severed its own communion with God and seeks to exist apart from God. It “exists” but without foundation and substance. The longer we “merely exist” the less like God we become and instead become more like nothing.
4. Similar to this is the distinction between “objective” existence and “personal” existence. We speak of “objective” and “objectivity” with a certain usefulness within the secular world-view. However, to exist as a mere object is to being moving towards “mere existence.” To regard something or someone as simply an “object,” and no more than an object, and not to regard everyone and everything as properly an event for communion with God, is to reduce others and the world to “mere existence.” Inherently such a reduction takes us with it. Among objects, we become but an object.
5. There is within “mere existence” a necessity which can seem oppressive. The gift of existence is given to us and thus our existence (mere existence) is not a choice. It does not have within it (or so we perceive) the element of freedom. Existence can become a burden and even hateful to some. On the other hand, existence which is embraced as the gift of God and responded to with love and thankfulness, moves from “mere existence” to true and authentic existence, which can only had through freedom and love. Thus the gift of life given to us in Holy Baptism is a gift which must be freely received and responded to in love. In freedom and love our existence moves towards likeness with God – who is truly free and is love.
In Scripture there is a very simple parable that does much to illustrate God’s generosity towards us:
Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, `Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?’ He said to them, `An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, `Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, `No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’
The patience of God endures the weeds. The weeds cannot endure the patience of God.