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Where is the Dwelling of God?

June 25, 2018

The following old Hasidic story was related by the late Jewish philosopher Martin Buber:

“Where is the dwelling of God?” This was the question with which the Rabbi of Kotzk surprised a number of learned men who happened to be visiting him. They laughed at him: “What a thing to ask! Is not the whole world full of his glory?” Then he answered his own question: “God dwells wherever man lets him in.”

Indeed, there is only one place in all of creation where God will not go without permission; that place is our own heart. Jesus says,

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me (Rev 3:20).

Yes, God knocks. He does not barge in. He is not rude or overwhelming; He knocks.

God fills all creation with His glory, but our heart has such an influence that if we do not admit Him there, we may well miss His presence elsewhere, including creation. Today there are some who deny God’s glory, which is so clearly manifest in creation. “No,” they say, “it’s all the result of random mutation, blind evolution. There’s nothing to see here, no one to see.”

If God is refused entry to our heart, our minds easily fall into vain reasoning. Of this St. Paul writes,

For what may be known about God is plain to [the Gentiles], because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and senseless hearts were darkened (Romans 1:19-21).

To those who admit God into their heart, who open the door, His glory is seen everywhere.

The spacious firmament on High
With all the blue, ethereal sky!
And spangled heavens a shining frame;
Their great original proclaim!

Another song says,

O tell of his might and sing of his grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is his path on the wings of the storm.

Your bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
it streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain
.

If we admit God into our heart, suddenly the world lights up with His glory. We become “mystics on the move.” The world is full of God’s glory, and reason alone can conclude the existence of a creator from observing the book of creation, but if we open the door of our heart to God we are struck with wonder and awe, and we see the glory of the Lord as never before and in an ever-deepening way.

Look up to the stars. There is more there than just suns, planets, galaxies, and the vacuum of space. There is a revelation of God’s glory and love, a revelation of God Himself in His handiwork. Consider the stars and planets; learn their proclamation:

Though they in solemn silence all
move round our dark terrestrial ball;
And though nor real voice nor sound
amid their radiant orbs be found;
in reason’s ear they all rejoice,
and utter forth a glorious voice,
forever singing as they shine,
‘The hand that made us is divine!’

Does the Lord dwell in your heart? He will only dwell there to the degree you allow Him.

Let Him in and watch creation light up as never before. Yes, the world is full of God’s glory—do you see it?

Comments (7)

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  1. David says:

    Thank you, Msgr. Pope, for the article. Please pray for me. I’ve increasingly come to see an awful battle both within myself and outside of myself. Jesus seems to be my only reliable friend. …I admit to having a psychological condition. 🙂 Please say a prayer for me if you would.

    • Marcos Augusto do Nascimento Ferreira says:

      I guess what you suffer, David. I do not know, but I guess. Jesus knows. Besides Msgr. Pope, today I pray for you. You will find many reliable friends, as Jesus lives within so many. And when someone betrays you, you will remember the One who never betrays. God be with you.

  2. Ed Pierce says:

    Where is the Dwelling of God?
    HOPEFULLY in Me !!

  3. Mirta Rubalcava says:

    I and thou Monsignor.

  4. Richard Connell says:

    This quote by St. Thomas Aquinas:

    “Moreover, even as art presupposes nature, so does nature presuppose God. Now nature operates in the operations of art: since art does not work without the concurrence of nature: thus fire softens the iron so as to render it malleable under the stroke of the smith. Therefore God also operates in the operation of nature.”–from Quaestiones Disputatae

    is reasonably understood as an explanation of this sentence from St. Paul:

    “”For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse.”

    …………………………..

    The quote in this article about about Jesus knocking and entering is, to my understanding, about His offer of Grace to us. The Catholic understanding of Grace is different from the Protestant, “Amazing Grace”, understanding.

  5. One of the great things about God being the one at the door is that he expects a dirty house. He is the only guest I have ever had who wants to help me clean it up. I bet that’s where the name’Spouses CLeaning Houses” came from! hmmm
    Still loving your new book! “Catholic And Curious”. Can you post a link to order a couple for my family?

  6. One of the great things about God being the one at the door is that he expects a dirty house. He is the only guest I have ever had who wants to help me clean it up. I bet that’s where the name’Spouses CLeaning Houses” came from! lol 😉 I kill myself!
    Still loving your new book! “Catholic And Curious”. Can you post a link to order a couple for my family?