Fra Angelico's "Mocking of Christ", which I had the pleasure of seeing in person, reminds us that we have the power to make God out to be whatever we desire to. To the Jewish rulers Jesus was a threat because he was drawing the interests of many, pointing out their hypocrisy and failure to recognize him for who he was. They made God out to be what they wanted; a threat to their power. To the Romans, Jesus was a threat to the Empire. They made God out to be what they wanted; a political freedom fighter who would incite the people to fight against them. Throughout the ages people and politicians have decided who God is and isn't. Today there are those who tell you God is very tiny and insignificant. There a some who will acknowledge His goodness and splendor but will reduce his role to indifference when it comes to sin and morality. Still others think God is indifferent to every thing, mankind and the universe is a wind up toy that God has walked away from. There are those think God is a rubber stamp okaying anything done in his name including violence or preaching hatred against others. There are those who think God is the figment of a crazed and superstitious imagination. There are those who don't care who God is and blaspheme and mock him. Finally there are those who recognize God but take sides with his nemesis the Devil. God will allow you to believe what you want. He will not, however, end his quest of loving you, of desiring you, and of bringing you home back to the fold.
For All of Us Who Make God Out to be What we Want
The Litany of Conversion
United in the mystery of the conversion of Paul, we pray for the grace of conversion in our own life:
R. Lord, Give me the Grace of Conversion
When I look at my life from the starting point of my own insufficiences, instead of from the fact of your compassion, grace, and love for me. R.
When I would prefer to live by my own thoughts and my own understanding instead of by your Truth which alone can set me free. R.
When I would rather brood over what annoys me than turn myself over to you always invite me to come to you. R.
When I obsess over self-absorption, complacency, and self-assertiveness. R.
When I get dejected about my sin, not because it offends you, but because it prevents me from being able to take delight in myself. R.
Whenever I live in a dualistic way, as if my faith and "my real life" are two separate things, R.
When I am deceived into thinking that my happiness depends on something in the future instead of what you give me in the present moment, R.
Composed by Father Peter John Cameron, O.P. editor Magnificat