Lawrence, among other Cistercian Monks

Some thoughts by Fr. Thomas on the importance of our Image of God: “When persons come into their own identity, they ask the question: To whom do I belong? The response to this question is central for us as we are created for relationships.

For Christians, “we belong to God” is the proper response. Accordingly, we need to proceed with a further question: what image of God do we have?

This questioning is imperative because the quality of our life and our prayer depends on our image of God. William of St. Thierry accentuates this importance in the Preface to his treatise on the Song of Songs:

“Every person forms the Lord his God for himself, or sets Him before himself, after a person’s manner. For as a person of prayer is, so the God to whom he prays appears to him.”

Quite frankly the quality of what we offer to God, the kind of life we give God, and the quality of prayer depend on our image of God.

Our Faith tells us that God is the supreme Spirit, immortal, without corporal dimension or expression, and without any limits. The paradox is to know this supreme Spirit as an incarnational God, Creator of all things, Who is constantly at work animating all things. Such is the mystery of God as Divine Providence.

A further paradox is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, fully human and fully divine, the supreme instance of God effective in our lives. Jesus Christ transforms our relationships in terms of body, soul, and spirit. We focus on God’s gifts because human nature is bodily, but also our focus is to be on the way God is effective as Spirit in our intellectual and spiritual lives. Accordingly, Jesus’ message is: seek first the Kingdom of God.”

God bless you,

Your brothers of New Clairvaux

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