March 09: Four Words

Day 8

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One of the things that I’m amazed at in our culture today, and I suppose it’s always been there to some extent, is the things that God gets blamed for.

People will say to me, “Well, I don’t go to church anymore because my brother died.” Or, “I don’t go to church anymore because I saw this situation in Haiti and I thought, “How could a god ever let that happen?” Or, “I don’t go to church anymore,” or, “I don’t believe in God anymore because of this, or that, or the other thing.”

It’s astounding the things that God gets blamed for.

And every time I hear about these things, what I realize is that the god that these people believe in, or don’t believe in, is vastly different from the God that I have experienced and the God that I believe in.

And so, I think it is really, really important at times to step back and take another look at our image of God. How do we see God? What is God really like? What are the qualities of God that loom largest in your heart, in your mind, in your life? Because the way we see God has an enormous influence on our spirituality. It has an enormous influence on the way we relate with other people. And it has an enormous influence on our lives.

How do you see God?

One of the things I’d really encourage you to do today is sit down and just write down a list of God’s qualities. What are the qualities of God that affect your image of God the most? How do you see God? How do you experience God? How have you experienced God at different times in your life? How have you seen God at different times in your life?

I think it’s a good exercise to sit down and say, “OK, what was my image of God when I was five years old? What was my image of God when I was fifteen years old? What was my image of God at different times in my life? How has my image of God evolved or not?” Because sometimes it doesn’t. And if we really take this exercise seriously, we will realize that.

For better or for worse, sometimes we are hanging on to an image of God that we developed as a child, or as a teenager, and that image of God is misaligned with reality.

So I do think it’s very, very powerful—very, very valuable—for us to step back from time to time and reassess our image of God. Reassess: How do we see God? How do we experience God?

The reason, or one of the reasons, is because the whole idea of Christian spirituality surrounds four words: Thy will be done.

Thy will be done.

If you think God’s a tyrant, you’re certainly not going to carry out his work here on earth.

If you think God’s a dictator, you’re certainly not going to further his will by doing his will in your own place, in your own time.

In order for us really to live out our Christianity, in order for us to be able to surrender to that idea of “Thy will be done,” and surrender in a really active way, not, “Oh, OK I give up,” but, “Oh, OK I get it. I’ll surrender to that, and I will proactively, with all my effort and energy and intention, go out and try and bring about this will.” In order for that, we have to have a really strong and positive image of God. And that really strong and positive image of God, even if you had it, even if you have it, is constantly being challenged by many voices and influences in this world.

Thy will be done.

“God wants to fill you with a peace that cannot be shaken; a peace that is untouchable.”

Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness

Share this quote.

Focus

These are the four words that embody the Christian challenge: Thy will be done.

Act

Take a few minutes to reflect on your image of God. Write down the qualities that make up the way you see God. Try to trace each quality back to its roots in your life.

Pray

Heavenly Father, I want to find peace that cannot be shaken. You have shown me the path. Help me to live it. Help me to surrender to these four words: Thy will be done.

Today’s personal reflection features Dynamic Catholic team member Renessa Foronda. Renessa is our talent acquisition coordinator, coming to us from Chicago, Illinois. Renessa gets excited about celebrating people on their birthdays, and she really enjoys exploring the different Cincinnati neighborhoods.

How do you see God?

Let us know in the comments!

We encourage you to comment on this reflection. All viewpoints are welcome, but we ask that you remain on-topic and respect other members of the discussion. Please remember that we are trying to help each other become the-best-version-of-ourselves. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding comments, including but not limited to removal of comments. Be Bold. Be Catholic.®

  • Darren Guido

    I see God as a loving Father who wants me to do the best I can each day. He knows that on most days, and in most situations, I’ll do the right thing. When I don’t make the right choices, however, I know that He will still love me and encourage me to continue on the right path.

  • Pearl Brown

    I see God as loving,sharing, and caring who is always there for us no matter what we have done. Thank you Lord for being there I love you tremendously

  • Joezette Mac kay

    Thank you for the video…..Thy will be done but I struggle with that because I wonder this, how will I know that God’s will is being done in my life? How would I know that where I’m at right now is where God wants me to be? I am struggling in a very unhappy job, I don’t want to be working here anymore but I need God to move me. Then I ask what if it’s not His will that I should move? How do I stay in a place where I am miserable?

    • jddimi

      You need to be open to the idea that God has you in that job and place for a reason. Maybe you are to meet someone there that you will influence their life or they will influence yours. Sometimes we are to offer up our sufferings and miseries to be used for a greater good. When you try and force a situation against God’s will, things will not go as smoothly than if you have patience and wait for God to intervene and open a new door and opportunity for you. God’s time is not always our timing. Keep praying, it will work out in the end.

    • Marykutty T

      I could totally relate to this as I experienced the similar situation of being in unhappy workplaces. I continued to pray for patience and perseverance for each day. There were times I would cry out to God seeking the courage to do His will and I kept applying for jobs. I am happy to share that I got a job recently, and I am very happy and enjoy my job. It is difficult to say “thy will be done”, but it is possible. What helped me was complete surrendering myself to the lord. If possible pour out your heart’s desire to the Lord. He is a merciful and prayer answering God. He understands us more than anyone else.

      • GreenTambourine

        That’s an amazing story. Way to go!

    • Gail DeMasi

      Perhaps you are being prompted to change- God desires our happiness and plants desire in our heart. What do you deeply want to do ? Where do your see yourself working? Where do you find meaning for your life?Prayer and discernment will make clear to you what God’s plan is for your life. Perhaps, if you do not have a spiritual director, you could find one. Of special interest may be the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, done with a director. It could change your life. Peace be yours today.

    • GreenTambourine

      I just want to add that I’ve been in a miserable job and I know what it’s like. I’m sorry you’re in that situation. It may help to know that in time, you’ll look back on this awful situation and see how much you learned from it. You will be a more compassionate and gentle soul. Small consolation for now, I know, but persevere. God will help you and others (like me) do understand!

    • RN

      Joezette, thank you for your post. I read this, and I see my situation as well. Each new position brought the same unhappiness. I am trying a new mindset that there is something I need to learn from each “mistaken job” and that I keep ending up in the same situation because I have not learned the lesson. I do not know if this is the correct way to think of it, but it is different than hopping to the next job to “escape” the miserable situation just to end up in the same situation again. I ask daily for guidance and what I am to learn and for God to make it crystal clear because I am pretty dense sometimes. Dear Lord, please bring Your peace to Joezette as she strives to serve you and lead her to a place of happiness and joy. God Bless you Joezette. I will be praying for you. Thank you for helping me today with your post.

  • Doug

    I see God as my one true Father. Once I fell in love with God, my eyes were open to what He really was to me. Fell in love? Sure, I loved God, just as I love my wife. In fact my love for her, kids and friends is agape love. However, they are earthly, where God is heavenly. God is THE love machine. Once this all became apparent, it was the lock that kept me having 100% faith and trust in Him.

  • jddimi

    God started out larger than life to me. But as my faith developed and I learned more about Jesus, he became my brother and God the Father was my Father that always wanted the best for me. I talk openly to God and Jesus about everything, knowing they already know what I need and want. I ask to be shown his will and try my best to be open to it and follow it. God’s plan for my life has turned out much different and better than the plans I wanted for my life. I see where he has taken me and trust that he knows where I am going. He has healed my soul and brought good out of bad situations and previous mistakes I have made. I am filled with so much more inner peace and a desire to love others even more. Thank you God for your love, forgiveness and mercy!

  • Chris Pazdersky

    My understanding of God’s love became much more clear when I became a parent and experienced an unconditional love and bond.

    • Heidi Johnson

      I totally agree! After becoming a parent, I saw God much more as The Father, but am still working on the other pieces of Him being The Son and The Holy Spirit at the same time.

      • Joanne

        Heidi- I also am working and don’t fully understand the concept of God being the Farger, Son and Holy Spirit. I seem to just pray to God and not the another parts of the trinity

        • Trudy

          I understand your feeling. I too would just pray to the Father until I was taught to pray differently. I do pray to Him and during my prayers I ask Him to fill me with His Holy Spirit to guide me though my day and at the end of my prayers I ask Him to accept my prayers in the name of His Son Jesus Christ………..
          Trudy

          • Louise Riehl

            So empowering Trudy! I never thought to pray that way. Thank you so much for sharing it has helped me immensely.

        • Holly Day

          Have you read, The Shack? It isn’t completely sound theologically but I thought it helped with understanding the relationship between the three persons of the Trinity.

          • Jeanne Elizabeth Coelho

            Loved the first time I read it; recently re-read it so I would be prepared to see the film. Agreed that it wavers from our theology, but I so felt the unconditional love throughout. Very powerful.

          • Cathy Juley Ledvina

            Is that the new movie that is out?

          • Diana

            I just saw that movie last night. It is exactly what we r talking about now. Why don’t movies like these get nominated for the academy awards? I loved it.

          • Sandra Mitchell

            I just saw the movie. I agree that it helps with the image of the Trinity. I recommend reading the book or seeing the movie. I know it is not completely sound theologically but the book helped me through a difficult time in my life. The movie is well done.

          • Betty

            Holly Day~ I just saw the movie The Shack after reading the book years ago. What an incredible movie. God is trying to help me to better understand who He is and that movie helped a lot. My image of God is a strict disciplinarian, a god who won’t help if you aren’t doing things the right way. As a sexual abuse victim from my earthly father, my view of God is so tainted that I don’t even know what the truth is. I only remember seeing the picture of Jesus hanging above the couch where most of my abuse took place. and later wondered why He would just watch something like that happen to me. I was 4 then and am now 57 so as you can see it has been a real struggle. Thy Will Be Done meant to me that He wanted that to happen for whatever reason. That thought was carried into the death of both my parents by a drunk driver when they were only 49, to the death of my husband when he was 48….I live in fear of Thy Will Be Done…..Wow, I didn’t realize that until I just typed it….thanks for letting me share…

          • Lourdes Ballara

            I think He didn’t “want” that horrible things to happen to you; he just allowed or permitted it to happen to you for whatever reason. It will be against God’s nature to want bad things to happen to us. Remember God gives us freewill, if He will interfere with the will of people that abuse children or commit other crimes then we all will be like poppets. Seldom God interfere with our free will or the law of nature, and that is what we call a miracle. Most times we see that bad things or situations that we have to go through life help us be stronger or at the end something good came out of them.

        • A Sinful Soilder of Christ

          Interesting. I find that the vast majority of my prayers are to the Son, Jesus Christ and his Blessed Mother, Mary. I suppose my prays go in this direction because I can much more easily relate to Jesus because He was God made man, a real person, flesh and blood who is still physically present and with us today at every Mass in the Eucharist. Also, I take Jesus at his word….John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. Also, every time I say a rosary using the Luminous mysteries the “fruits of the five mysteries” also lead me in that direction and if the way to the Father is through the Son, the second mystery’s fruit tells us the best way to Jesus is through His mother.

          I. Baptism in the Jordon – The voice of God declares Jesus the beloved Son – Fruit of the mystery = Openness to the Holy Spirit
          II. Wedding Feast at Cana – Christ first public miracle, water into wine, because of his mother’s intersession – Fruit of the mystery = To Jesus through Mary
          III. Proclamation of the Kingdom – Jesus calls to conversion and forgives the sins of all who draw near to Him – Fruit of the mystery = Repentance and Trust in God
          IV. The Transfiguration – The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ -Fruit of the mystery = Desire for Holiness
          V. The Institution of the Eucharist – Jesus offers the first Mass at the last supper to establish the sacramental foundation for all Christian living – Fruit of the mystery = Adoration

          • Catherine Petrick Patel

            I, too, usually pray to Jesus because he is more relate-able. I also pray a little too Mary lately. It was a bit harder for me to make my list of the characteristics of God, the Father. At our last night’s church Lenten mission, it was recommended that we make a “Consolation” Journal. I am already writing many of the comments here as this is where I see God everyday. I enjoy the lesson, but I really see God in all and your inspiring Comments. The purpose of a Consolation Journal is so that when you are in a season of “Desolation”, you can look back at your journal to remind yourself who God is and what he has done for you already. Thanks all, You all are blessings to me.

          • Genny

            Good morning everyone, it is so inspiring to read everyone’s opinions, to me God is everywhere, in the sunrise or sunset, in the air I breath and my children, i always felt blessed for my three sons and finally a granddaughter where I see perfect love…God! I prayed to Mother Mary always, she has thought me to trust everything to Jesus her son…

          • Gloria

            I am so grateful to have found this Best Lent ever daily reflection and enjoy all the thoughtful comments posted daily Thanks to all! The world is so secular today it seems. We need to stay focused on what is really impt in this life and the next

          • Sharon Cullen

            I agree with all you said he except of thing. Catholics get a bad rap for this, and it causes great consternation between faiths. I often hear this from pre Vatican 2 Catholics but it keeps getting passed down.

            We do not prayTO Mary. We can ask for intercession that she pray for us. Taking our petitions just as we may ask our friends to pray for us. We do not pray to our friends. We ask them to pray for us.

            We as Catholics need to lose this term. How many starry away from the church because thirty think we worship Mary? And how many within the church are seen kneeling at her feet looking up to get with their hands folded. I think shine get mixed up and actually begin to forget her role or placement. She is not part of the trinity. She should not be worshipped or prayersmd TO. Yet so many seem to have a closer relationship with her than the trinity! Scary. Pray to the farther, Son, and Holy Spirit.

            When I begin my prayers, I begin by asking Jesus to allow all the holy angels and saints in heaven and on earth, to hear my petitions and to allow thermm to pray with me, all who are available. I include Mary in this request.

            It’s one of the most asked questions in the RCIA program. Why do Catholics pray to Mary? She’s not God! And it’s one of the best reasons protestants have a problem with the catholic church.

            One last thing… My priest has a great respect for Mary and will often include the hail Mary in prayer. BUT, he says”and in our prayers we ask for the intercession of the blessed virgin Mary.”
            I hope and pray that all Catholics can change the verbiage of how we say this. It begins with us.
            Oops, one more thing… My priest said something obvious a homily a few weeks ago about saran. He said satan takes our good gifts, and uses therm to work evil. And he does this a little at a time so that we aren’t even aware of how we are changing. Before you know it that honoring of Mary and her yes, can turn Ingo something it shouldn’t be.

          • SanctusSanctus

            We do “pray” to Mary; we do not “worship” Mary. Mary was given to us by Jesus at the foot of the Cross. The Blessed Mother does “intercede” for us as well. In our prayers TO her, we communicate and ask her to “intercede” for us. Prayer is communication and not worship of a Deity, per se.

          • michelinebeattie

            Well said Sharon regarding the distinction that we pray to Mary to intercede for us to her Son, Jesus.

          • Jo

            It is through Mary that we are brought to her son and anything that we ask of Mary she will intercede for us with her son if we think back his first public Miracle was the wedding feast at Cana he will do anything for his mother so the surest way to her son is through his mother

          • Jo

            I would suggest the retreat 33 days to morning glory through the Marians

          • Patti Phillippe

            Thank you Sharon for the clarification. I’ve always prayed for Mary’s intercession, and now thinking back I may have explained it as praying to her. I do know that we honor her, not worship her and she intercedes on our behalf. You made an important distinction.

          • We shouldn’t get overly scrupulous about Marian devotion. If someone is kneeling with hands folded in front of a state of Mary, it is out of respect for the grace God has granted her and her position as Queen. (Read Scott Hahn’s “Hail Holy Queen” for an explanation of this.)

            Her intercession is very powerful, and a prayer “to” her is actually a prayer to God. Every Catholic should know this and I believe many practicing Catholics do. Never worry that you are showing her too much affection. Every honor given to her goes to God, because she is so closely united to Him. She points to Him in everything. If our honor of her is true, it should lead us to a closer relationship with God.

            As a former Protestant, I understand why you’d be concerned about the way non-Catholics see Catholic Marian devotion, but it’s mostly because of their own error and lack of understanding of the Catholic devotional context. Anyway, it’s not just Catholics…the Orthodox have a very strong devotion to her as well.

          • Sarah

            Mary was first who encouraged her Son to perform a miracle a the wedding of Cana. She encouraged Him that it was time. As parents we encourage our children to show / share their gifts. Mary was that mother for Jesus, to help Him be who He was called to be. She brings us to Jesus. She gave us Jesus when she said Yes. She was His first temple. By her saying yes connects divine to humanity. She brings us to Him, our prayers. She brings it to Him on our behalf. She is our Mother and is the pathway that Jesus took to become human and connect divinity to humanity.

          • Maureen

            Oh yes we do pray to Mary, every time we say the Hail Mary. We are praying to her when we ask for her intercession as well. Prayer is communication!

          • A Sinful Soilder of Christ

            Please don’t confuse prayer with worship. Prayer is a conversation with a spiritual being. You can pray to God the Father, God the Son, The Holy Spirit, The Blessed Mother Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul or any of the saints or your guardian angle. Prayer is not equivalent to worship, we worship God in all persons of the trinity. We pray (ask assistance and intersession) of any and all saints. Have you never said “Dear Saint Anthony, look around, something is lost and can’t be found”? That would be a prayer. And since prayer is a conversation with a spiritual being it is MOST appropriate to pray to (have a conversation with), not worship, the Blessed Mother of God. You should have a conversation with your priest about this if you are under the impression that it is wrong to pray to Mary. What do you think the rosary is? Where do the words of the “Hail Mary” come from? Sacred scripture, the bible, that’s where.

          • susan

            Ive been saying a special prayer also before I pray my rosary or mercy chaplet and now before mass begins. I say: Holy Spirit come pray with me. Holy celestial and heavenly family come pray with me and offer all the prayers that ever were and ever will be for all worthy humanity. Crush the head of satan who lies in wait so stealithly. Then I say an act of contrition. Oh my God I am heartly sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins because of your just punishments but most of all because they offend you my God who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen I find my heart and my prayer are being made more beautiful for God. And Mother Mary is always invited to pray with me. Her heartfelt prayers to Jesus for my intentions are much more beautiful than mine alone.

          • marta

            Thank you for your comments. You articulate my feelings better than I was expressing them, myself. And thank you for the “fruits of the five mysteries”.It makes me remember the time, the very blessed time when I stood in the River Jordan, the same place where John the Babtist babtised Jesus. What a privilage!

        • Ida

          Joanne – A priest once described the concept of the Holy Trinity using an egg as an example. You have a shell, a yolk and the white. There are three parts, but yet it is one egg. Each part is an individual, but yet make up one egg. So it is with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Three parts, but yet One God. 🙂

        • Leah Levitt

          It is a very big mystery. I am sure since God is really one being that he doesn’t mind which part you pray to.

        • Toni Shea

          I have found if I am struggling with something all I have to do is ask God to help me understand and he reveals to me what He will have me know. Thy Will be Done. Sometimes we need to ask Him to help us with our part in this as well. God Bless. Good Luck. A Bible Study??

        • Arthur Brown

          I believe you are not the only one that doesn’t understand that the Trinity is one in three persons. God the creator of all, Jesus the Son of God transformed into a human being to bring us God word in the flesh and the Holy Spirit of which God left behind as a comforter and a connection with God while we are living on the earth. I see it this way as three persons. God in the beginning, then He became flesh by the representation of Jesus Christ a man in the flesh but the purity of God Himself and finally His Spirit that he left here on earth as a comforter and a way to send our prayers to Him as a messenger giving our communication with God and that is how I see the trinity as one buy of three. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So when I pray at the end of my every prayer I pray is the words the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore I am praying to all three at one time and not just to God, Jesus or Holy Spirit. I hope this helps. I am a Dynamic Catholic Ambassador and I would recommend the book Rediscovering Jesus, Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly and a great book that I just finished called Everybody needs to Forgive Somebody by Alan Hunt. You can get them on Dynamic Catholic website free with only the cost of shipping to you. If you are in financial straights I have an extra copy of Rediscovering Jesus, Rediscovering Catholicism I could send you but you will need to send me your address so I can mail them to you. I believe if you search deep within your heart and ask God to give you an understanding of God in three persons He will open your heart and show you the Trinity. God Bless you in your daily spiritual journey with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

        • Carmen Villalba

          The Holy Trinity will always remain a mystery to us until we are Heaven. But, what I learned is that They are three Divine Persons, but all God – all Divine Nature. That’s what made it possible for the Son to come to earth as a human (100% human 100% divine) while God the Father and Holy Spirit were still in Heaven (although they did interact in Jesus’ life). The Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father and out of their love for each other flows the Holy Spirit. Hope that helps! God bless ❤️

          • Jane C

            Beautifully put Carmen!! God’s blessings to you too!

      • AngiBaby

        Although inadequate, my best analogy of the Trinity is this. God is the Father, Son, Holy Spirit and yet They are one. I am a mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc. but I am still me – the same person but different roles.

        • Sharon Cullen

          An excellent analogy. Thank you for sharing thus. I will use this in the future to explain it. So simply said!

        • Maureen

          This is a perfect way for me to relate to the Trinity, being a wife, mother & sister all in one…simple, why didn’t I reflect on that before now?!? So many of today’s comments really hit home, thank you!

          • Lynn

            I agree!!!!

        • Doris Smith

          Thank U AngiBaby. Such a great thought on Trinity

        • Mel Purdy

          Thank you for sharing – love that analogy

        • Betty

          AngiBaby~ That is the most perfect analogy I have ever heard. Thank you for sharing it.

        • Sara

          Wow this is a beautiful anology .. never thought of Making it that simple … as a daughter I provide obedience and respect and as a mother I provide love and support and as a sister/friend i provide advice ( from wisdom ), and comfort and they can be all interchangeable… this is ecactly how the son , father , and the holly spirit is . Thanks angi

        • Anna Brady

          What a great way to sum it all up. Thank you for sharing.

          • Paz Bingham

            I feel the same way!!! Different roles and missions in life .. Thank you for your share!!

        • Maureen

          I love what you said! I never thought about the Trinity that way. Thank you for this great insight!

        • Jerry Weigel

          It is a very human and warming analogy….unfortunately it is Modalism which is rejected by the teaching

          church but comforting anyway….

          • AngiBaby

            Jerry, I had never heard of Modalism before and so I appologize to all! My incorrect analogy does describe a Modalism view (which I do not believe since God is 3 persons-not 3 “versions” or 3 “modes). It is so hard to try and explain the Trinity in words as a human being!

        • Mary Brennan

          That sounds good, I like that thought, we do play different roles, and yet the same person, Blessed be God forever!🤗

      • Jody Herr

        Dr. Taylor Marshall describes the Holy Trinity as consubstantial, of the same substance. God is at the top of the triangle and is pure love. From that subtance flows his son, Jesus, who is grace and from Jesus flows fellowship, from the Holy Spirit. All are present in all places and all times and we call upon each of them to help us in all of our needs. That helped me a little, but it will remain a mystery until we too are in the beatific vision.

        • Rose Dorsey

          I decided to contemplate God as a meditation and I came up with this mantra:
          Yahweh, my Father
          Jesus, my Savior
          Holy Spirit, my Helper
          After saying this over and over, I started to contemplate the first line and think of what the father is…creator, lover, all knowing and holy, leader of my life, etc.
          Then I moved onto Jesus…gave up his life for me, brother, teacher, etc.
          Holy Spirit…helper, friend, conscience, keeps me going in the right direction, light of this world, etc.
          The thoughts develop as the meditation progresses…a great God experience indeed.

          • Fran

            I like your meditation, Rose. I will keep it and read it often. Thanks!

          • Rose Dorsey

            It has been a real blessing!

          • Jo

            Holy spirit the consoler

          • Glen Arcalas

            Amen

          • Lynn

            I like how you did the mantra…brilliant! Thank you…

      • Wilma Sanders

        Think about the fact that God (The Father) is not constrained by two things that we are : Time and Space. Time and Space to not apply to Him.

    • Jennifer Haeussler Brewer

      I agree that being a parent helped me to see God in a new way. I love my children with all of my heart. I want the best for them. I think God is the same way with all of us. He loves us and wants the best, even when we think we want something differently.

      • Larry Dunleavy

        The Lord is kind and merciful , slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Ps45
        This verse started resonating with more and more as I spent more time with scripture (it is actually stated in different ways in many places in scripture.) I realize that I needed to set a goal to be more kind and merciful , slower to anger and much more abounding in love with my family. Workin’ on it!

        • Sarah

          I love this!

        • Karen Poirot

          Larry, that verse also changed my life as well. Once I realized that is how God demonstates his love for us, forever kind and merciful, slow to anger and always forgiving, I began praying daily he gives me the wisdom to do the same.

        • susan

          I think that is beautiful how you loved this scripture passage and then related it to your own life. Pray and beg God for this gift.

          • Larry Dunleavy

            My own dad was kind of strict always wanting not to spoil us and make sure we learned to respect and to work hard for things. I like to think I’m softer but still hear my dads voice echoing to my kids from time to time.😉

    • Marija Maros

      Same here.. My two sons are my God’s gift. Before that my life had no meaning and i had no will to live, but now, its all about them.. God is so good.. HE gave me Jake and Nikolas… Their happiness is my happiness…

    • Jordan

      I’m a new dad and I’ve heard this before. I pray I experience this.

    • Barbara Diecks

      I agree 100%, parenting changed my view of God. As parents we certainly want what is best for our children, but we can only guide them and pray for them…it’s up to them to want what’s best as well. We’ve all had times where we’ve wanted to stop our children from doing wrong or heading in the wrong direction but again we can only guide then be there to help pick them up when they are ready. Being a parent also changed my thoughts on giving my all to God and communicating with Him. If our children don’t come to us for help, we don’t always know or can’t help. If they don’t give us all the pieces of their toy to fix, how can we fix it, yet when they totally trust us, we’re able to be there for them. It’s the same for God, He is always there waiting for us. Our children are grown now and sometimes they don’t call as often as I wish they would, then I realize I don’t talk to God as often as I should. We wish our children would visit more often, reminds me I need to visit God more often.
      I picture God as a loving, caring, listening God waiting for us to come to Him. But oh when we do life is so full of joy and comfort!

  • Nancy R

    Wow! I need to work on this one. I am trying to comment every morning after I watch the videos. This is one I need to expand and reflect on much more. I need to create a better image and connection with God.
    Thy will be done.

    • Latifa

      God is there for you. He knows your heart.

  • Susan A.

    I also feel God as a loving father who loves, guides and protects me but in the image of a cloud moving, floating, hovering, enveloping me so I feel His presence. We all have our struggles both big and small that preoccupy our minds and praying the prayer for today I believe will help bring about the peace we need

  • Pamela Jones

    I see God as the best parent ever. I experienced a time when my children were spending a summer with their father. I missed them so terribly, that I broke down on my hands and knees hitting the floor saying why lord! I heard a voice say “This is how I feel about my children”. I thought I only have three boys, he has all mankind. WOW!!❤️

    • Cathi Rider

      Pamela what a vivid picture. Thank you for sharing.

    • Ronda Jewell

      Pamela, beautifully said. As insignificant as we may seem in this world, God has us at the top of his list. We are his children. God bless you.

    • Pauline Jackson

      I’ll begin with the word you ended with, WOW! I do know that God loves all mankind, but the picture you gave of the love for your children and hearing “This is how I feel about my children” was so powerful that it gave new depth to my understanding of God’s love. Thank you for sharing that Pamela.

    • Ana

      This is beautiful!!!!

    • Francine Flood

      Isn’t it something when you hear that voice that you know is not yours from out of nowhere!

    • Eileen Anding

      Pamela, I did the same thing – hitting the floor and crying out when my son told me a few years ago that his wife filed for divorce. I’m glad I was home alone when the phone call came. It was not his choice and since then he has procured an annulment and met the most spiritual Catholic woman who has never been married and they are expecting their first child any day! Don’t get me wrong, it has been hard for him and still is since his other 4 children live in Alaska and he only sees them a few times a year but I see God in this as a supreme Father who turns bad into good. He ALWAYS does! Eileen Anding

    • Lauren H.

      Yes! Me too. And my heart breaks for people who don’t have good relationships with their parents. I would think that that make it really hard to know how this relationship is supposed to be.

    • owjw

      Beautiful! What an incredible insight to have been given. You were so blessed! I can’t imagine living without my children for a whole summer!!??

    • Ida

      WOW!! Thank you for sharing that. I had a vision of Jesus’ body going limp on the cross when I was about 16 at a Retreat and I realized that Jesus would do that again just for me, because that is how much he LOVES me. I feel that is how much He LOVES each person in the world. How much more does God love us when He allowed His son to do that for us? Very powerful stuff indeed.

    • Toni Shea

      Thanks for sharing Pamela, God Bless

  • GreenTambourine

    This was a very enlightening video! I was raised Methodist before I converted to Catholicism, and in my home growing up there was a portrait of Christ (the very famous one, a head and shoulders painting every Protestant would recognize) hanging in the upstairs hallway. That portrait of Christ always struck me as weak and submissive (which indeed is not a bad thing) but it actually didn’t serve me well when I felt I needed God to be strong, all powerful, etc. It also made me wonder why there weren’t more men active in our church (there were, but the number of women was much greater). When I became a Catnolic and really meditated on the cross — an a crucifix with the corpus — my whole concept of Christ changed and transformed, and it enabled me to see God in a different way than I had as a child. As a Father who loves me, not as a weak young man with long hair. I was too young to understand but I am grateful that (thanks be to God) my perception has changed.

  • Latifa

    I see God as my Abba Father, my Healer, my Saviour. When I look back on my life. I grew up being petrified of God. I was born Moslem. Even since I became Christian. I realized God is loving. He loves me for me faults and all. My life is in God’s hands. Like any father you want the best for your children. My Abba Father wants the best for me. Lots of people say I take God very seriously. They will tell me why do you get sick why will your God make you sick. Sickness is not from God. I’m going through what I have to go through to be the best God wants me to be.

    • Lea Novak

      That’s beautiful, Latifa

      • Latifa

        Thank you. God is great all the time

      • Latifa

        Im lying on bed reading all the comments. I’m in Awe of God. I’m like a little child. I want to know more. I’ve learnt so much today. Thank you all my brothers and sisters in Christ.

  • Karen Kotzbach McCreary

    The “Jesus Prayer”, is very powerful for me. The phrase ,”Son of the living God”, is the one aspect of God that brings me incredible peace and joy . It always stops me in my tracks for a second until I finish the prayer, “have mercy on me , a sinner . I can honestly say I’ve never blamed God for anything .If I have a problem,I know I alone created it for myself. But, my ever-merciful God is always there for me . As a child then teenager I was more fearful of God .That was my 14 yrs. of Catholic education talking to me in the ’50s and ’60s. After having been married , having 5 kids and being active in our parishes I made a Cursillo, led a CRHP Retreat weekend, and MANY other things (all with my husband by my side doing and sharing these same things, my idea of God has always been of a kind and all-loving Father .Through my husband’s faith crisis I never blamed God. I just wondered why He allowed something like that to do so much damage to our family. There were more than a few tears . Now ,in our 70s, (married53+ yrs. ) only 1 of our children practices her Catholic faith and beautifully ,I might add, even with all her problems (many and BIG )at the end of the day she can still have faith and complete trust in God and His holy will. The other 4 are struggling with many things and don’t seem to have the peace I see in her. No, their faith as they were brought up is not very evident; no church, faith formation, nothing.Yet they lead good, kind and productive lives.There is a lot of God’s presence in their lives , they just don’t have the feelings of joy and peace that is there waiting for them . No, I don’t blame God for any of the sadness I feel ; My husband and I just continue to pray ,be active in our parish , and try to be examples for them. It’s, “Thy will be done, Lord , not mine ” Yeah, I know, 7 words . But they work, too. I still have to remind myself to get me out of God’s way . He is the only one with the license . Love and prayers to all, if anyone has read all this .

    • Antonia

      May God bless you and your family 🙂

      • Karen Kotzbach McCreary

        Antonia, thank you so very much . Have a wonderful Thursday !

    • Karen Lockhart

      Thank you for sharing your beautiful image of God.

      • jeanne

        every word touched my heart. Thank you

    • Carol

      Three of my four children don’t attend Church. One of my grandsons has not been baptized as his parents no longer believe in going to church. Likewise they are all moral well grounded & kind people but don’t live in God’s presence. So sad that they miss this peace & joy. Thank you for sharing as I don’t feel I am Alone in this .

      • Ma

        I also struggle with my daughter who has not baptized her 3 beautiful children. It tears at my heart daily. I have to turn it over to God, his time and place. Love them for who they are, and trust in The Lord. ❤️

      • Karen Kotzbach McCreary

        Of 11 grandchildren only 3 are baptized Catholic, 2 are “Episcopal” (don’t go) and the rest .0. The son who was blessed to attend a Jesuit H.S. refused to be confirmed. We have given them the books “Rediscovering Jesus” and the “Resisting Happiness”. Of course the Catholic girl has/is reading them but who knows about the others .Thy will be done”, as the phrase goes . We just , very carefully keep on trying. No one is alone in this . XO *_* K

      • Francis Losi

        Carol;

        Thank you for sharing. There are tens of thousands of Catholic parents who have attempted to pass what faith and Christian example we’ve led to our children with the same results. None of our four children practice the faith; our two grandsons are not baptized. Our individual faith paths with the Lord are so deeply personal, and for most of us, I think we have to nourish our faith daily. To this day I try to interact with people of stronger faith than I so I can be invigorated and inspired. My mother, mother-in-law, and a 38-year old assistant at work are who I currently tap into. I think the Evangelicals have a leg up on most Catholic communities with regard to building welcoming faith communities. Dear Lord, enlighten all our loved ones so their eyes are opened and they begin their faith journeys in your presence, Amen.

        • Margie Horvath

          My son and his wife were both baptized and attended Catholic schools,and neither attends Mass. But, they are very active in Evangelical ministries and are two of the kindest, most generous, Christ-loving people I know. Yes, I wish they were practicing their Catholic faith, but they fill me with awe at their Christ-centered lives.

          • Francis Losi

            That’s wonderful news Margie!

        • Maria Vaccaro-Sardos

          Thank you all for sharing, my son and many family members do not practice there Catholic faith and it saddens me so. But my heart is broken over my son not going to church. It’s my biggest heart ache. I fight back the tears all the time. But he is a good kind man with good morals. All your responses has help me because many times I feel , what did I do wrong. I taught CCD for 12 years and try to be a devout practicing Catholic. I pray for them always and put my trust in Our Merciful God! There lives would be so much happier and easier if they had God in there lives.

          • Francis Losi

            Maria; you have done nothing wrong with regard to your son not practicing his Catholic faith. A human being’s faith journey with God is extraordinarily personal and while every person is made in God’s image and likeness we are all given free will. Perhaps someone or some event in your son’s life in the future will impact him in such a way that he re-engages in his faith journey with God. May God give you the strength of St. Monica who fervently prayed for her son’s [St. Augustine’s] re-conversion for 20 years.

          • Karen Bushman

            Remember that St. Monica prayed for her son for decades before his heart was finally touched. We remember her son as St. Augustine of Hippo, one of the great early theologians. In God’s Time.

    • Lisa Damiani

      Beautifully said.

    • Ronda Jewell

      Karen, thank you for sharing. I pray daily for members of my family that no longer belong to a faith community and for their children who do not attend a church. But then I thank God for the other members of my family that do attend church and continue to plant the seed of faith in all of us. God bless you.

      • Marie D Monaco

        Ronda, I’m in that same boat. What I ask our precious Father for now is the strength and discernment to be who He wants me to be so that I continue to be the “seed” He needs me tobe in their lives. He takes care of the rest.

    • NancyB

      Well said. I was not a great example of Christian values to my children, as unfortunately, I did not grow up in a home where Christian values were discussed, practiced and expected. Being Catholic really seemed to be daily mass and fear of the Lord. As I result, I did not model strong Catholic values to my kids. I pray daily that my children find Christ well before they reach their 60’s, the decade I truly began to wake up.

      • Francis Losi

        NancyB. Thank you for your humility and frankness. May your prayers be answered as St. Monica’s [mother of St. Augustine] were; a thousand times over.

    • June

      I can sure relate! Your words “I still have to remind myself to get ME out of God’s way”. I want to control everything in life. My two children also left the church but they are good, kind, loving people. Hard workers too but I don’t actually see any signs that they aren’t at peace. I often wonder why the left their faith. It’s hard to even discuss with our daughter and her family why they don’t attend church. And our son chose a completely different religion! Life is an ongoing struggle but as you said, We have to pray and continue to be active in our parish and be examples to them. Thanks for sharing. (We’ve been married going on 49 years).

    • Fran

      The book- RETURN: How to Draw Your Child Back to the Church by Brandon Vogt- has given me lots to think and pray about regarding my children, siblings and friends who are wonderful people but who have left the the Church, or should I say weekly Mass attendance. We must all continue to pray daily for the return of all who have left practicing our Catholic faith; don’t give up.

      • Karen Kotzbach McCreary

        Thanks, Fran, I’ll keep this in mind and check our parish library for it ! We also have a wonderful Catholic bookstore not far from us . *_* K

  • Janine

    I experienced God’s presence for the first time personally when I was 18 years old. That’s when I decided to turn my life upside down and center it around HIM. Since then I have found in HIM my home, my refuge, my rock, my father and brother and loving arms that never reject or forsake me, even if I don’t think of Him or seek him. At the same time I experienced (and still do) that He challenges me, puts me in situations that I don’t understand and don’t find easy to accept right away. Especially concerning my many pregnancies within a short period of time. That is something where I sometimes felt like God is not on my side, that He asks too much of me and my body. I’ve begged Him for more time in between the pregnancies, but for some reason He decided not to allow it. Still, I know HE is there with His grace and blessing ALL THE TIME, but I can only experience it when I forgive Him (yes, sometimes I get angry with Him, but that only has negative consequences for me, not for Him of course), forgive myself (for getting angry at Him) and accept and surrender to His will. ONLY THEN can I be happy, feel light and joyful. Praised be Jesus Christ.

    • Mockingbird Life

      Love your honesty.

    • Carolina Callejas

      What a beauty, God bless you and your family

  • Marguerita Guerra

    I felt God’s love more than ever before at the first sight of my child, Victoria. I felt like the love in my heart grew 10X exponentially. I still feel closest to God when I hold/hug a baby.

  • Ethel L

    God shows true unconditional love. He’s my coach, my guiding star. I may stumble along the way because of my poor decisions, however He empowers me, He gives me another chance over and over. He is always available anytime , anywhere, anyhow.

  • Enteajay

    God is joy welling within me no matter what situation I may find myself in if I only stop and let Him fill me. I see His indescribable Face and at least one of His attributes in every creature or thing. I feel His infinite love in myself and all His creation. I see His majesty in the infinite complexity and harmony of His handiwork. I’ve learned to look for and appreciate His sense of humor. I’ve learned in my almost 66 years to want to please Him out of gratitude and tender love, not just fear of His justice. I’ve learned that the sweetest moments of His presence can come at the most unexpected and ordinary moments. I hope to have an eternity to continue to know Him, realizing His infinite majesty, Love, mercy and justice are unfathomable.

    • Colleen Covey Stratman

      I love your comment that you want to please God out of gratitude and tender love, not just fear of His justice. I often tell my children to do the right thing simply because it’s the right thing to do. If we can take that one step further and intentionally act out of love, how wonderful would that be, and what an impact that would have not only on the lives of those around us, but our own lives as well. Thank you for your comments.

    • Frances

      Thank you. This writing is something to cherish, read and contemplate everyday. Thank you.

    • Ann Crispigna

      Beautifully said.

    • NancyB

      I so look forward to being where you are!

    • Lea Novak

      That is beautiful! God bless you and thanks for sharing your insights.

    • Grant North

      Faith sharing is so uplifting and motivational. What a powerful way for The Body of Christ to feed and grow from the inside out. Thanx Enteajay, and all the other generous responders in this space each day.

  • Karen

    I believe that with age we have certain stages in our lives and how we see God is part of all those stages and growing up. As I get older I feel much closer to God than I used to and think of him as my best friend ever, hes always there no matter what. I used to be afraid of dying when I was younger, now its something we should all look forward to. I truly believe we are only here on earth as part of the journey, final destination- home is Heaven! Live life as we know we are supposed, love one another, be a friend, set the example!

    • NancyB

      Well said.

  • Rosie

    I see God as my best friend. He is always there for me never leaving me alone in any decision that I have to make. My decisions always, for the most part, reflect the will of God. He is my best friend, forgiving me and always guiding me in his way. My responsibility is to always remember the words “thy will be done” and to act accordingly. I love you Jesus and I know you will never leave my side

  • christine

    I see God as my protector, my guide, my provider.

  • Eduardo Hoover

    Though He slay me, still will I place my hope in Him. Where else could I go?

  • Mary Jalove walker

    I see God in many ways. He is my best friend that is always around and I can count on him even when things are not going right. God always shows up in mysterious ways. He is the smile, a hug, a simple gesture … my list can go on. Thy will be done. 😇

  • Scott Van Horn

    God is love. The more I reflect and contemplate on this the more I realize that the bad things in my life are not of God. What God does is provide me the ability to deal with those bad things. He loves me so much that he brings his Holy Spirit to provide peace love patience and understanding joy. Thy will be done. I’m so glad that this is the way it is because if it was “my will be done” it would be much more of a mess.

  • Steven Sisman

    Renessa, thanks for sharing how you see God and verbalizing how you feel about Him. I believe He is a co-collaborator with me as well, not willing to do everything for me but willing to walk with me like the Father when the prodigal son returns. He’s a gentleman, never forcing himself on my freewill but willing to help as much as I’ll let Him.

    I also like the image that He knows I am going to do the best with the image I have. I want to be connected to the image He has and share what I have. I think one of the goal of reaching out to Him in daily prayer is to build our relationship together individually and in community.

    I see God as a loving AND just Father. I see the Holy Spirit as His messenger. And His Son as our example all working together to bring me into their glorious and eternal relationship.
    In my mind that’s a beautiful thing.

    • Justin Spector

      Her view was beautiful and really did open my eyes to a new perspective!

    • Mary B.

      Beautifully written! Renessa touched my heart as well!

    • Patricia

      Beautiful written and touched a chord of familiarity in my being.

    • Frances

      Thank you +

      • Leonard Bernardo

        Beautifully stated.

    • Michael LaMagna

      Thank you my brother Steven, well said PTL

    • Louise Riehl

      Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful image of our God!

      • Elizabeth Bell

        Thank you for your thoughts!!!

  • RN

    Wow! Does this hit me today. I desire to know the God Matthew does.

    • Kevin Clark

      And he is running toward you. God bless

      • NancyB

        Thank for saying that, Kevin!

    • Betty

      RN~ I so agree!! I want to know the God Matthew does too. Maybe we can pray for each to find that God.

  • Lisa

    The God of my understanding is powerful and masterful. When I look out my window and see nature in all it’s glory that is when I realize that there is something so much bigger then me. When I go to my AA meetings the past 25 years I see the transformation of lost souls. They turn to God and become whole and healed loving and blessed, I realize that there is something so much bigger then me! I am blessed to witness the power and grace of the Lord every day especially when I look! I have been so blessed by my loving Father and Savior. Thy will be done! I will keep my eyes wide open today. Thanks be to God!

  • Michael Lennon

    A great question for reflection! This is the heart of it, isn’t it? What do I really believe about God, his character, his intentions, his ability to help (empower)me become the best I can be? I do believe, but like the father in Mark 9:24, I find myself regularly pleading, Lord help me in my unbelief. Today I’m staking it all on God’s faithfulness. Keep the good words coming Matthew & DC team members!

  • NurseTay

    I really enjoyed hearing what she stated in the end about us trusting God and in turn God trusts us with our free will to make the best decision.

    I’m a traveling nurse and was trying to get an extension at my current assignment which is where my boyfriend and family are and the hospital was really dragging their feet with giving me an answer so I ended up signing a new contract yesterday morning for a hospital 6 hours away and then when I woke up to go to work that evening I was offered the extension for the hospital close to family (but since I had already signed the new contract earlier in the day I can’t back out). I was very frustrated with how it happened and was blaming others for it but maybe this is how God wants it and he is ready for me to move to another hospital and experience something else that I wasn’t expecting.

    I just need to put my faith and trust in God.

    • Jane

      Dear Tay, I feel sure that God is sending you where He needs you most. I believe if we trust God there isn’t anything we or anyone else can do to “mess up” God’s plan. We never know what bad thing God is guiding us away from either so you may have dodged a bullet by changing assignments. God bless you.

  • Justin Spector

    Renessa, your explanation of how you view God was so incredibly beautiful and inspiring. I never had really thought of it in that way. When I was younger as a lot of as did I suppose, I thought God was almost just a man in the sky. However that conception is so false, we almost created that idea to be able to conceive something far beyond our own comprehension. God is infinite, beyond time, space. God is all loving. Bad things happen but we do not know the reason. God created us with free will. God may allow bad things to happen for his all loving plan which is yet to be seen in the coming of Christ. Bad things happen but as Paul said, ” We rejoice in our suffering, knowing suffering creates endurance, endurance, character, and character, hope. And hope never fails. God bless.

  • Paul Gregory

    unconditional love, God is everywhere, in us, for us, about us, tall (hovering -over), light, fire, gentle, giving, in charge.

  • Nora McCarthy O’Malley

    I haven’t seen the movie yet but the book The Shack had a profound influence on my image of God. For the first time in my life it made me think about the image I had always had of God and why. It is a work of fiction with some deep theological themes. I highly recommend it to all.

  • Pat Dodd Polito

    I see God as Loving, Caring & Merciful. A Loving Father who no matter what will always Love me. He knows what is best for me. Much like a child, I may not understand the rhyme or reason of why things happen yet I need tonTrust, have Faith and accept Thy Will Be Done.

  • Irma Torres

    As I child I would see God differently than I do now. God to me is my father, brother, friend, teacher and best parent ever. He has been there for me even when I thought he was not and carried me through the toughest times in my life. Thank you Lord.

  • Terri Barile

    Thank you Renessa. Absolutely beautiful vision of how you see God! That is also how I see God. However that was not always the vision. Attending a Catholic grammar school and attending an all girl high school my initial teachings of God was that he should be feared if we were not following his commandments because we would be punished.
    I am so blessed that throughout the years I have learned and continue to learn my God’s love is unconditional and with constant forgiveness and mercy. He finds us in our most vulnerable places and doesn’t harm us or forsake us but instead is ready to always nourish and cherish us.

  • Michael Baur

    I see God as a architect and a parent God has a plan for everyone but we also have free will. God have given us the power to choose our own path. But at the end we end up in the same spot.

  • Debbie Betit

    God’s love has been a great blessing to our family. Unfortunately my young adult children no longer believe there is a God after their cousin was killed in Afghanistan at the age of 20. They stopped going to church in their teenage years and only on a very special occasion will they join us at mass. I pray that they will return to God. Do you have any advice for what I can say or do to bring them back to God?

    • Elisabeth Young

      Hi Debbie! I am so sorry for your family’s loss and understand the dilemma of having members of the family who no longer attend. From my experience, the best way to help is to do what you are already doing – Pray. Pray that their hearts are softened and they become will to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. And I would add – continue to model the way – the time will come that they will want the what you have. 🙂 My mother was that person – and at age 77 she just asked me for information on a church close to her home! Keep praying, and I will pray for your family as well.

  • Karen

    As Matthew suggested in his video, I reflected on how my feelings have changed over the years on my relationship with God. I am in a place right now where I see God as my “Doctor” giving me “prescriptions” to follow. He is my expert on the right choices for my mind, body & soul. Sounds silly? Works for me!

  • Judy

    I see God as someone who is watching over me to protect, teach and love me. He will help you realize now or later in time why situations in life happened in his way. Thy will be done.

  • Aileen

    I have always seen God as a Father and Mother, King and Queen, the great balance of all that is; playful and joyful; with great majesty and vast humility; the greatest loving hug you will ever receive.

  • Jack McGrath

    I see God as our Creator — All Powerful, Wise and Merciful. As Truth, Love and Beauty. As our loving Father and Good Shepherd who knows our strengths and weaknesses and is always ready to forgive us.

  • Holly

    I see God as my everything! He is what keeps me going everyday. As a child I did not know him; I only knew religion; praying memorized prayers to an unknown God; my parents were God to me, and that’s ok because He helped me through them and their love and faith in Him. It was through much pain and tragedy in my life that I have come to know Him, know His unconditional love for me and for us all! He takes away my pain, He comforts me, He is my everything. May my relationship with Him continue to grow and His will be done in me, in my life, and in everything! Amen!

  • Andrea Flynn

    He’s my Dad. I love him beyond words, and I turn to him throughout the day when I need my dad’s love and support and helping hand. And I believe when incall on him that I may not here the answer right away, but that in the long run, the answer is there, and it will be fulfilled in the right way, because it is his way, the way he wants for me. I see God as the one I trust above all others. The one who comforts me in my times of sorrow, the one who always, without exception, shoes me the light I need to see. He always sets me on the path of his will, and when I stray from that path, when I get lost, when I act like a rebellious kid and don’t do what my dad says, when I say to him that I can’t find the path anymore, he always always always picks me up and puts me back on the path. He never leaves me alone to wander in darkness. For sure there are times I have wandered in darkness, but it was of my own choosing. But when I realize that I’m off the path that he sets me on, all I have to finish turn to him and say dad, I’m lost. Rescue me. Put me back on the path. And he does. Without exception. So I trust in him more than anything. Because he has my best interest at heart. Because ultimately that path he put me on is going to lead straight to him. I trust that that path is going nowhere else but into his loving arms. So my biggest fear in life is that I will die at a time I’m off the path. As I age, I’m now 40, I try to stay closer and closer to the path, and try to assess much more frequently if I’m off the path because I don’t ever want to lose sight of it. I don’t want my hour to come and be off the path. I want to run with joy into his waiting arms. I love God so deeply, and the more I stay on the path, the more deeply I know him, the more deeply I love him.

  • Kim Carey

    I love Rennessa’s perspective. Thank you for sharing!

  • Elizabeth Brumann

    I see god a kind, compassionate, understanding, sympathetic, fair, patient, forgiving slow to anger and forgives all of his people for their sins. God does not judge or condemn anyone he loves all of his people and accepts all of his people. God is hear to guide me through the journey of life from the time that I am to the time that god calls me home. God accepts for my learning disability with ADD and arthritsis and other conditions and tells me not to be afraid to be my own person. God is about acceptance, love and forgiveness and mercy. God is our father up in heaven and hear is to listen all our prayers and to grant all of our prayers and lead down the right path in our lives.
    God is our leader and helper and we should not be afraid to ask god for help. God is our friend and he will give us the right advice. God created us in his own image and god will help his people and he will not abandon his people. God has a plan for all of our lives. God leads us through the many trails, tribulations, problems and situations that occur in our lives. God helps us to choose the right paths in our lives and to never give up on anything we choose to do with our lives and our happiness is up to us. God is hear to guide us through the challenges that we face in our daily lives and helps us to get stronger each and everyday to help heal the sick and injured to get them back on their feet and back to their life.

    When grandpas had died god was there to comfort me and to tell me they have lived a long life on earth and now it is time for them to go heaven a place of relaxation up in the sky and that I will eventually see them again when I called from the earth to be up in heaven and that they live on in my heart along with all of my other family members that are up in heaven. I will see them again in the future. My place will be up in heaven. Life goes on. God healed my hurting and sad heart and had told me to be strong and to cherish all of the memories and good times that I had with my grandfathers. God comforts the sad and the hurt and takes away all of the grief and sorrow. God is a compassionate person. Thy will be done. God wants us to communicate to him by praying the our father. God is about an unconditional love and bond with us to despite the fact that I don’t have any friendships or relationships and I will never have a physical friendship or relationship with anyone but I will always have a friendship and relationship with god our father. I will never have a family of my own but I have a parent and friend with god. God is my second father up in heaven and he looks out for me and is always there to lead me and guide in the right direction and to help to better understand myself and my learning disability with ADD a mental disability and arthritsis a physical disability he is there to help me work through these disabilities that will always be a part of my life for the rest of my life and god wants me to be a strong and hardworking person who has strength and courage. Lent is about prayer, fasting and almsgiving and watching the mass on television reading the magnifcant the daily offering and reflection praying and meditating on the mysteries of the rosary going to mass reading the bible and doing acts of kindness and learning about forgiveness mercy and reconciliation and abstaining from negative thinking and making yourself a better and preparing yourself for the resurrection of Jesus on Easter.

    • Marianne

      I see God as loving, forgiving, kind, compassionate, and humble. Thank You God for all my daily blessings.

  • Emily Wolford

    I’ve always been like a 5 year old and belived that if its in God’s hand everything will be fine!!

  • Christina McNally

    I see God as a strong caring man that is always there to guide me. He is patient and understanding. He knows I am trying to go to him more and figure this whole thing called life out. He knows I am not perfect and that one day I will truely understand his plan for me.

  • mrcpuhead

    I admit I tried my best during Matthew’s message to figure out what the four words were, and failed miserably! My earliest recollection related to how I see God, though, was around age 10, when I was looking in the mirror asking (in my mind) what is my purpose in life. That was my question for God, so then I saw Him as the One who could answer such monumental questions! I knew then He had a special purpose for me, but I didn’t know what or how. Though at such a young age I didn’t think it, now I see how well the four words fit what I had been asking…no matter what the purpose, or how, Thy Will Be Done!
    I loved Renessa’s reflection as her take on God as co-collaborator shatters the huge chasm that most of us see between ourselves as humans and the unseen God somewhere “way up there.” Absolutely brilliant! I’ll have to reflect again on how the way I see God has evolved since my ten year old self!

    • Nancy D.

      I too loved Renessa’s reflection of God.

  • Beth

    My image of God is developing. The best way to describe my image today is God as a wise and passionate coach. He wants the team to win.( all get to heaven). He alone know the gift and talents of each player and how they will work together to achieve His goal. He, being coach and not captain, is not on the field but entrusts the game plan and ultimately the outcome to us! What trust! We are called to respond in total trust of his coaching and conditioning knowing the goal he has is heaven for all. My job is to be coachable and to help my teammates remained focused on the coach’s voice so we all reach the goal.

    This reflection was such a gift ….never really thought about how to explain how I see God to others….helped me to clarify for myself….

  • TTackett

    God is the one constant in my life. A good friendship takes time and effort, which I lack at times, but he is always there when I return. I feel his presence in times of struggle and for that I am grateful.

  • Dorothy Cabral

    I see God by my side every day and every moment. I see him as the one person who listens to
    Me and loves me unconditiondisional without giving me or making me feel guilty. I learning that
    As long us I follow his will my life will be
    Complete!

  • Sarena

    I see God as a Father. Like a Father, He loves us so much and tries to teach us often. Sometimes I think God tries to get through to us about certain things, and we think we know so much better that we resist the push He gives us. So, things go wrong and these are caution tapes trying to warn us. I imagine being at a clifftop and God says let go and jump, knowing He will catch you. We resist, I resist out of fear constantly but when I finally just give in, everything just flows and I realize God will always be there to catch you just like a Father. Our Father.

  • Liz

    My 15 year old with autism said God is a woman with dark skin, dark hair and dark eyes who is Indian and who is smiling and laughing and surrounded by people who help her.

    Mind blown.

  • Jesse Bourque

    Wow – Jesus just drop kicked me in the head again: The God that I grew up believing in was not a kind, merciful God. I feel that I was taught to believe that any adversity was a result of punishment by God to force atonement for sins.

    However, what I believe to be true now, because God’s grace has opened my mind to the truth, is that God does truly want what is best for me and sends me down paths and allows people to cross into my life that will enable me to be able to exercise my free will.

    I am more likely to be a better Catholic when my motivation is for a reward, not to avoid a punishment.

    Jesus calls on each of us to be God-like. If any of us are in positions of authority and rely on subordinates to get things done, what will produce better results? Working to achieve excellence to obtain a reward, or maintaining a minimal standard just to avoid getting in trouble (or just to be better than the guy in last place)?

  • Alice Ann Hengesbach

    Compassion

  • JoAnn Roger Seberger

    Through the years-fatherly(3); Awesome(8), punishing(13); gentle & compassionate (19); vague(21-39); companion & guide(40); friend & counselor50); majestic & loving(65)

  • Gina

    He is my Savior…ever minute of every day, standing beside me whether I remember it or not

  • Karen

    My God is a loving God found in all people. Look for the good in people because God is there!

  • Nancy D.

    To me, God is everything.
    1. Many times when I am outside especially at dawn and know that the sun is starting to rise, but the stars are still out, I think this is so beautiful. God created this.
    2. Or I look at my daughters and feel full of love for them and thank God for allowing me to be a parent to them.
    3. I talk to God often about things that are going on in my life and I feel he is a great friend and listener.
    4. He teaches me.
    5. I know there are times when I am asking for something and He knows that I am not ready for it, tough love God makes me wait until I am ready for it.
    6. Or on the flip side, God wants me to learn something and it seems like it is taking me forever to learn the lesson and I continue to suffer. In those times, if I just trust God, I would probably learn the lesson faster than it usually takes me. I resist so much during these lessons. I feel like I am in one of those lessons now and it is taking me a long time to realize what I am suppose to do. I need to trust in God.
    Like Renessa said God sees the bigger picture, he wants the best for us, and we need to trust him that He knows what He is doing and we need to follow him. Thy will be done.

    • Stacy West Taylor

      I love your words here! I can relate to all your points.

  • Ana

    For me God is the Father and there is a family in heaven with Jesus and Mary and we all are so blessed to be their children! Some times as a good Father he make me hit my face with the wall, but most of the time his live guide me and supprt me in my path.

    As is mentioned in the video I do trust in him as well he still trusting in me after being a big sinner in the past and with all the bad I did at this moment He had transform me in a new piece to serve him! In the past I always was embarace of my past, but after understanding he had forgiven me I feel clean and the words “the truth will set you free” as a new meaning for me!

    There is a gift to have many channels to nurture and grow our faith! Many blessings to Dynamic Catholic for the great work evangelizing us!

  • Waiting Patiently

    I see God pretty healthy anymore, though I will admit that through my 20’s and 30’s my view was that he was some great man that I had no business sharing with and that he was very far away. I don’t know how true this is because I only have myself as an example, but it has been said that a boys/mans interpretation of God correlates to the relationship he has with his father. Needless to say my father and I don’t have the closest relationship. 🙂 As I move through life as a father of 5 soon 6 I work to be there for my children at all times. I work hard to share my faith with them and my wife.

    Now I see God very close and personal. I try to live a life of constant prayer. I have a peace and serenity that I have never had before in my life. I still find it hard to ask for things, because with all the problems the world needs help with, my problems don’t seem like problems at all. God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit are no longer far away beings lording over the world and me, but rather they are walking beside me patiently waiting for their turn to talk or actually waiting for me to shut up and listen to them.

    I am now in a state where I am content and safe and I want to know them more deeply.

  • Rae S

    I grew up without a father ( mine died in an accident before I was born and my mom did not re-marry)
    I have seen God as father… in a sense. Ever changing in my life. I was raised Lutheran and converted to Catholic to marry. Divorce in 2005. Since that time have truly woken to God as father. Understanding our frailty as humans and knowing there is nothing better than his will.

  • Stacy West Taylor

    I know my Father loves me and that as His child I am not appointed to wrath. My issue has simply been one of rebellion. I have always been a rebel to some degree – nothing that really affects other people, but a rebel against my better self. I don’t know if somewhere along the way I believed I am not good enough for…fill in the blank… And set myself up for failure. Not sure. This was such a good message here. I never really considered it this way. The devil and my own flesh want me to believe one thing about Gods will for my life – those voices have been so strong. Today, I allow Gods voice to be louder. I hear You Father. Thy will be done.

  • Sherry McCollum

    I see God as a trusting friend that gets me through the tough times in my life. Last night my husband and I went to church to attend the Eucharistic Adoration for Lent, I prayed the rosary, read a spiritual book while I admired the Monstrance on the altar. I truly believe that I was in the presence of God last night and was overcome with emotion that I am becoming a better person and that God is leading the way. I do believe there is a reason for everything that happens in our lives and I trust in God to show me the path.
    Thy Will Be Done…..Amen..

  • Ralph

    I see God is as my Coach, Team Captain, Team Owner and Biggest Fan. I also see God as a smiling, kind Lord Brother, who waits for me, ready to hug me by a still pond in the better depths of my soul, after I’m brought there, by gentle Mary, who holds my hand through weeds and darkness. He is the same Lord who, as I knelt down for my penance, placed His warm arm around my shoulders after my last confession.

  • Cindi Westendorf

    I see HIM as the ONE who always is aware and patient in all interactions He has my life in his hands

  • Rebeca

    I see God as someone who protects and forgives. I know that in any situation, if I put my trust inGod, he will look out for me. I believe that everything happens for a reason. If there is a tragedy, I try to see the good in that tragedy instead of blaming God and saying how could you let this happen.

  • Sue

    God is Love, Forgiveness, strength and compassion. Even though there was a time in my life I was mad at him for taking my Mom at an early age, I did come back to realize something good did come out of that. A stronger Dad leading our family. God has always been there through good and bad and now prayer is the way.

  • Cm

    God is always with me, loves me, forgives my poor decisions. He loves me without conditions. He reminds me of His presence in countless ways: nature, my children and grandchildren, animals, my husband’s humor, and in the very needy who I help.
    He is there especially when I find it difficult to forgive.

  • Maureen Gomes

    As i look around me on walks i marvel of all the beauty God’s gifts & all He has created.i find my self looking at buildings & i see some windows shape like the Cross always make me smile the know how that God gave us to build to grow & make & so much more.God is Love.Amen

  • Susan Erickson

    I have free will. Unfortunately I also have a strong will, which can lead me far off a preferred path but eventually onto the right path. Surrendering to God is not like any parent or leader in that no one is going to punish or scream at you if you aren’t ready to willingly “let go” and accept life on its own terms. The wonder of it all comes when I look back and see that baby steps, faith, hope, prayers and trust ( and the hardest of these for me is trust) allows my spirit and grace to grow. I am thankful for that.

  • Cynthia Gutzler

    I too have gone on a Cursillo weekend and for me God is no longer in the abstract He is real ! I no longer go through the motions of praying , but look forward to my relationship with God and speaking with him on a daily basis .

  • Bruce Mauro

    For years I have struggled with the constant drumming of the “God as Puppet-master” image. (How many millions of copies of The Purpose Driven Life have been sold? Ugh!) It is refreshing to hear an image of and relationship with God that reflects something that has resonated with me for a long-time. I think Renessa is right on track when she suggests that trust in God is the counter-balance to being a co-collaborator with God. Perhaps the flaw in my co-collaboration (and what leaves me empty) is that I haven’t trusted enough in the one who sees all the pieces. This will be something I revisit throughout the day. Thank you Renessa!

  • Carla

    I believe we get our personal image of God from our earthy dad or the father figure in our lives. This explains the many skued images of God by our world. I personally was blessed by this, my dad was awesome, unconditionally loving, fair, balanced, fun loving, consistent, I feared (respected) to disappoint him because I loved him so much and wanted him to be proud of me. He taught me right & wrong. He introduced me to God through the Catholic Church. He was humble but a true warrior and champion going to work every day to provide for our family. When a family tragedy stuck and my mother’s sister and husband were murdered by a serial killer in 1977. My dad who was the god father of my aunt & uncle’s two young boys took them in adopting them but making them keep their last name so as to never let them forget their real parents. Honoring them and talking about them always. You upon meeting my dad would never have know those boys were not his biological sons. He loved them just as much as me until he passed away in 2008. Now the flip side……my husband was cursed by this. His real father was an abusive alcoholic that his mother had to leave in fear for her and her child’s safety. She later married a man who was widowed who also had a infant son. They later had a son together. My husband’s step father was a strict Seven Day Adventist. Very emotionally unavailable. Conditionally loving. This man used the Bible as a shield to real intimacy. So very sad. As a result my husband struggles with prayer. His personal image of God is very fearful of judgement. But we are making progress. I know that my husband was attracted to me for my faith, in spite of him being taught many incorrect myths about catholicism. You see I can see God’s sense of humor in bringing us together! I pray daily for my husband to have eyes to see, ears to hear, and to know the truth about God. It will happen! In God’s time not mine. If there is anyone else out there in these same shoes let’s pray together for our spouses. God bless

    • Harry

      God is love and He has chosen you and given you grace in this journey. I pray that you find strength and fulfillment each day for it is our ultimate hope as Christians that we lead our spouses to heaven. For many have fallen and taken so many along with them. God bless you

      • Carla

        Thank you Harry! Your words were water to my thirsty soul today. My husband had to go through the annulment process so we could be married in my church. It was hard on both of us but he truly healed so much and learned what the Eucharist meant to me. I believe it was a turning point. Have a blessed day.

    • Marie

      HI, I loved your first line because it reminds of my dad. He’s intelligent, has a huge heart but he is politically incorrect. I realize how important it was for my development to have a father I could rely on and talk to when I got in a bind. This is how my dad is and he’s still ready to talk to me at age 51. I am not sure if you have teenage girls but there is a great book out there called Strong Fathers Strong Daughters and also a book called Unbound. The Unbound one really helps to define past hurts and how to work through them.

    • Pat Riley Blackwell

      Carla,

      You may see God’s sense of humor bringing you and your husband together. In that sense of humor, God brought you together to help,
      nourish each other, too. My husband of 60 years came from a strict, but also a very loving, Southern Baptist background. We were married for 39 years before he became a Catholic! He has become a very devout Catholic and a good example for others. This year he is an RCIA sponsor who says that my husband was his inspiration to join the Catholic Church. Never give up! Trust in God because like you said, it is in His time and not yours!

      • Carla

        Thank you Pat!!! I will hang in there. I know the purpose of our marriage as taught by the Catholic Church and I believe it. Please keep James my husband in your prayers. Slowly brick by brick that big old wall is coming down. XO

    • Cheri Harp-Ayoub

      Carla, I don’t disagree that the way we see God might have to do with how we see our own father, but sometimes, God the father IS our father. My dad was not a horrible person, but he was NOT present. However, I always went to my heavenly father. Never had an issue running to God or praying. It’s not always what we are given in our lives, but how we cope and choose to use what we are given. What’s interesting is that I feel like because I had a relationship at an early age with my heavenly father, I never had a problem forgiving my dad or moving on with my life. If anything I was able to minister to him because no matter what he did, he knew that I forgave him. When I stayed with him, I pushed him to take me to church (and he did even though he was not Catholic). He attended all of my sacraments upon my request and at the end of his life he wanted to know God and how to truly become a Christian. Thank you God, my TRUE FATHER!

    • Ruth

      I relate with your husband very well. My family is/was Baptist and my father took many of his parenting points from the strict rules of that church. Even when he apparently lost his faith (he went from being a pastor to never attending church) he continued to tell us that if we didn’t believe in God or make the effort to attend church we were sinful/bad/and God would judge us. That was the extent of our religious home life and it was hard to build a relationship with God in that way.

      When I met my now fiance and learned that he was Catholic I was immediately put on guard. My dad had often told me all kinds of terrible things about Catholics and how they were more of a cult than a religion. However, over the years my fiance very kindly taught and showed me the love and kindness within the Catholic church. Instead of a harsh, unquestioning, and conditional environment it was a beautiful, open, and searching atmosphere of light and love. I realize that part of my experience comes from my love of my fiance and seeing him within the Catholic church, but it has been such a blessing to me to be able to find God through him.

      I am currently going through RCIA, one of the elect to be baptized this spring, I will pray for your husband, for healing and to feel the love of Our Father. <3

      • mjtav240

        Congratulations to you Carla!!! How exciting to become a part of the Catholic community. I pray that you will find the love, peace, and joy that come from knowing a loving Father whose love for you is truly unconditional. He is amazing in the way that He puts the pieces of our lives together as in your situation of finding a man who can point the way to God’s wondrous blessings!

        • mjtav240

          Oops – I meant “Congratulations Ruth”… Sorry!!

    • Lea Novak

      I agree that we often base our image of God on our earthly father. I too was lucky to have a loving father, who rarely struck us. He was more likely to talk to us until we wished he had just hit us…instead, his talks made it clear how much our bad deed disappointed him, which I tend to think is how God often feels about us… My dad was also very patient, slow to anger (just the way Scripture describes God), so I was very lucky to have a good image in my father of our Father in Heaven.

    • Liz

      My husband didn’t belong to a church or faith. He was raised Congregational Methodist and was never comfortable in that church. While he loved the people in it and loved God, he didn’t attend church nor speak of it much. I was baptized Catholic but never received any other Sacraments. I attended Church from time to time, but nothing consistently. I knew when I married my husband that I couldn’t pursue being Catholic because he had been divorced (that shows how ignorant I was about the faith). After we had our daughter and she was approaching her teen years, she wanted to go to church like all her non-catholic friends did. We tried several denominations and nothing ever seemed like “home.” My daughter and I started attending the Catholic Church and went through the RCIA and RCIC program together. My husband supported our efforts and became friends with many church members. He still didn’t attend on a regular basis. In fact, he was jokingly referred to as a C & E & P – Christmas and Easter and Picnics! He went through the annulment process and we convalidated our marriage. I knew my husband was restless and every time I tried to talk to him about religion it fell on deaf ears. I saw him off to work every morning and when I would close the door after he pulled out of the driveway I would ask God to touch his heart. I invoked prayer warriors to pray for him as well. Then one day it happened! My husband had a conversion experience that you only ever read about and wish you could experience. He was in his truck and God spoke to him, turned his truck around and headed him back home. He fought it, told God he didn’t have time to do this and he didn’t want to do it, but God didn’t listen – my husband listened and heeded the call to God. He is a faithful Catholic to this day. It’s a marvelous story that I wish I could go into more detail because I love telling it, but the point I wish to make is “never give up!!” Never quit praying! When I told my husband what my prayer was every morning when he left for work he said, “You asked him to touch my heart, I didn’t know he was going to knock the heck out of me!” It happened in God’s time. My husband was 62 at the time and had never been baptized. His outlook on life, the family and his love of God took on new meaning. God led my husband exactly where he wanted him to go and if we allow ourselves to let God’s will be done we will follow him exactly as we are supposed to. Its just very hard to let go of what WE think we should be doing. As I’ve heard it said many times, “we plan and God chooses!” I need to work on letting God’s will be done in every aspect of my life. I’ll finish with something I’ve had on my desk for a very long time. It’s a little devotional and the page I have turned to is titled ,”Praying Wife” and it goes like this “…the power of a praying wife is not a means of gaining control over your husband…it’s laying down all claim to power and relying on God’s power to transform you, your husband, your circumstances and your marriage.” Stormie Omartian. Carla, keep praying for your husband! Get prayer warriors involved too! I will say a prayer that he will be able to let the years of fear and judgement melt away and believe in God’s will for him. God Bless!

  • Marie Lissade

    God is love. He is always with us.

  • Laura

    I never knew my father (divorce), and I have had a number of stepdads. Consequently, the concept of “father” is not organic for me. When I was a child, I Imagined God was really my dad! Now, I see Him as the Source of everything. He has a purpose for me that will help others. A peace comes from accepting that work and relishing seeing it unfold. I am not a good vessel, though, so He comes to me through many different avenues to give me the guidance and reassurance to keep on trying to find His will. Eucharist, marriage, people who are different from me, these keep me vital for God. My fear is that I am not really doing God’s will, but my own. The life I have had so far is so amazing (husband of 33 years, three daughters, a career, a home)….a few bouts of cancer, but nothing serious. Some days I feel like I should junk it all and become a missionary in China or something dramatic. But then I look at the people right here that are so sad and lost and wonder if that yearning for the dramatic life of service is really just my own ego. Discerning God’s will clearly so that I can act upon it is the challenge for me right now.

  • Shirley Enos Crawford

    I see God in a whole different light than when I was younger. When raising my children I knew it was important for them to know and love God, and the unconditional love I had for my children and their total trust in me when they were very young made me realize that God, my father loves me. I am still growing and learning each day. I have yearned and thirsted to grow closer to God more than when I was young. At 76 I continue to grow in my faith and trust in our heavenly Father, to let His will be done.

  • Jennifer Haeussler Brewer

    God is love!
    I see God as a loving, supportive, protector that wants only the best for me and everyone else. He loves me beyond my comprehension just because I’m me, not because I have done something.

  • Casandra Gomez

    To me God is always present and exists in all forms of life. God is metaphorically like a caring father but in my experience I feel God in lots of places including all of “mother nature. ” God exists through our forgiveness, encouragement, caring, kindness and loving of one another and of ourselves.

    • Shirley Enos Crawford

      Yes,God has given us so much beauty in the things of this earth, the animals, stars and moon at night, sunshine and the rain, we could go on and on. Cassandra Gomez you have put Gods blessings so well into words. Thank you!

  • Monica Moreno-Mata

    God is my father, healer, peace maker, provider and love. I feel we don’t truly understand God until we are mature adults and make the decision to really get to know him. 🙏🏻☝🏼👼🏼❤

  • Jacqueline Shukla

    When I need comfort from God I imagine a “Grandma” who comforts me the way that my own did. I received comfort from her much more than I did from either of my parents. I don’t see God as exclusively male or female. We commonly speak about God as He almost exclusively, so I deliberately take turns thinking and speaking about God as She. There are a lot of references about the feminine aspects of God in scripture but our translations don’t seem to pick up on them as well. If anyone is interested in exploring the feminine side of God in scripture, you can see it in the book of Wisdom, many of the psalms, and lots of images in Isaiah and other Old Testament works. Luke and Matthew have an image of God as one who has desired to gather her children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings (Luke 13:34 and Matt 23:37) and as a woman who is baking bread (Matt 13:33). I haven’t read this book myself (yet), but a high school classmate of mine who is now a Catholic theologian at Xavier University wrote a book called, “Sophia: the Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton.” Sophia is the Greek word for wisdom that many theologians applied to the Holy Spirit but it can also be applied to God the Creator and Jesus. In his book, Christopher Pramuk pulls together the feminine images of Christ from Trappist monk Thomas Merton’s writings.

    • Theresa Yamasaki

      Thank you Jacqueline. Loved reading your comment. I have noted this book and look forward to reading it. I see God as a huge , massive energy w both male and female qualities. It is interesting though because I also see God as something that I cannot even begin to comprehend. I think God loves me so very much but I also sometimes think…Gee…How can we little human s ever think we really know who God really is. I know God is there. I can’t put God in to words on a list. I just know God is here, there, everywhere…In me, in you. 🙂

  • Deborah

    I see God as a musical Conductor; we are the notes of life. There are times when the notes sound harsh, out of tune, dissonant (these are the troubled times in life). There are also times where those same notes, blended together in a different way are beautiful, harmonic, and fill the heart with joy and beauty – consonant (these are the times when I am in touch with God and wonder how could I ever deny His will for me in my life). The dissonance actually helps me to realize something on my path is not quite what it should be. I become uncomfortable with myself. When I feel this way, I reflect on the musical notes in my life, make a few changes, and then try to continue toward the melody that the Master Conductor intended. My joy is when I can sing the notes he wants my heart to hear. “Thy will be done.”

  • Elizabeth Jackson-Chilton

    Renessa, I really love your description of God; Trust and love are at the heart of your attributes. I really must work on a more up to date understanding of God, his plan and place in my life.

  • Jeff K

    Ever since I first read the Footprints in the Sand poem when I was about 15 years old I have continued to see God as a friend that will never leave me. He is my wingman in this life always ready to help me make to his Kingdom.

    • Kevin Clark

      Love the description Jeff

    • Jeff K

      On a side note, when I was typing my comment autocorrect tried to change the word God to Gorbachev. God does have a sense of humor!

  • Kevin Clark

    God is graceful. He understands where you are going and you can always lean on him for help. He will never give on you if you trust in him

  • Alice

    Wow! After listening To Matthew and Renessa, I know I want to get the place where I see Good as a Co Collaborator with a foundation built on Trust. I loved that Renessa mentioned that God provides us with Free Will and if God takes us in a different direction it will lead to a more beautiful place. Wow. How beautifully articulated Renessa’s words were today. I listed my qualities through my life, as a child I viewed God as a Father figure, as I grew older I became fearful of God – like when I disobey God he is going to punish me. I think that involved from taking my religious classes to literally – and also the Holy Spirit trying to get me on the right path as I became resistant to God’s teaching. In my thirties I started to get back on track and see God as my Father, more forgiving, more loving and as a Guide. When I hear the words, “Thy Will Be Done”. It still scares me, so I know I have work to do in framing God as a loving Father and also to pay closer attention to listening to God in my everyday life – and ensuring I am embracing my free will in a way that pleases God.

  • Rita Gahr

    I see God in everything, as a creator, as a counselor, as a consoler as the Father, as the Son and as the Holy Spirit. He is their in the beauty around me, to guide me in my decisions and to console me in times of trouble. To trust in him knowing he only gives me what I can handle. Joy, happiness and beauty in my life are there as long as I put my trust in him.

  • Kate McLoud

    Matthew’s video touched a cord in me today because in the past I have struggled to understand why God would give me so much and someone else just as deserving (and probably more so) so little. I know it sounds strange to doubt God because you have too many blessings but I’m guessing I’m not alone in that.

    However, I have come to understand a couple of things that have washed away my doubt. First, I believe God has given me so much in hopes that I will use my gifts to help others. I think that is one of the many ways God works to here on earth. Second, I’ve come to understand that it is simply not possible for a limited human intelligence to grasp the thoughts or reasoning of our infinite God. Faith is about understanding that God has a reason for everything he does, whether or not we understand that reason.

    • Betty

      Kate~It doesn’t sound strange at all to me to doubt God, I do it on a regular basis. I appreciate your honesty. I also heard it said, ” It’s not about understanding the reason why, it’s about trusting that there is one.” I long to have that kind of peace and trust. Thanks for your openness…

  • Mike

    I would like to see God as unconditional love. That’s a difficult concept for me because I don’t feel that I have either received or given much unconditional love in my life. Growing up, God felt like an accountant keeping track of your sins and failings. I think I am still stuck with his image of God as a judge rather than loving and caring father. I need to think more about the God who Jesus spoke of in the parable of the prodigal son. That will be my focus in prayer for today, changing my image of God. Thank you Renessa and Matthew for really making me stop and think about this.

  • Diane Neff

    My husband and I were just discussing the fact that God really has not changed for us very much since we were kids. He went to a Catholic school, and I grew up very devout and we have always seen God as a loving, forgiving God. Yes, when you make mistakes there are always consequences and learnings, but there is always forgiveness, too. I like what Chris said below, that as a parent we understand God’s love even more. We always love our children, no matter what, just like God does. However, as my son just made a big mistake, he gets his consequences, hopefully learns from them, we let him know we still love him and move on. And the cycle continues.

  • Teresa

    What a wonderful insight Renessa! I saw God, first at foremost, as our Father. A father who guides us, protects us and shows us how to live; even though we falter. Amen to God’s merciful love for each of us

  • Paula Stevenson

    God for me has been exactly what I needed Him to be at different times in my life. I draw strength, seek answers, feel tenderness, I send and receive blessings and care from him. He’s forgiving, powerfully strong, and shares stories that I can understand His wishes. Mostly, God is Love.

  • Maria

    I remember first beginning to grasp a little about who God is from an illustration from a children’s bible when I was very young. It was the first picture in the book depicting the creation of the world. It showed a beautiful sunset with clouds in the shape of an old man with a long beard swimming across the sky with authority, holding his hand towards the sun. In this way, God is portrayed as working from within creation for creation. Because of this picture, not only do I see God as an old man with a beard, but also as the great Artist behind the beautiful sunsets, the flowers, the animals, and the joyful laughter of His children.

  • Marie

    I see God as my wing Man and he reassures me all the time and comforts me when I pray. I have this sense of peace that is just beautiful. It didn’t always used to be this way. In my 20’s I thought of Him as a judge and this is because quite frankly, I was guilty. I was not going to church, I had a huge breakup with a fiancé – which was His path for me and I knew the relationship was not good for me. So, I started going back to church (my mother urged me). Shortly after, I met my husband on Halloween at the age of 26 -just like my grandma who was still alive at the time. Last night, I was praying and reading the Magnificat after a long day of just not feeling that great about one of my kids choices. In it, there was a story about Margaret Ebner who was a sister and had a great story. She was from Germany. It just so happens my grandma’s name was Mary Ebner. I know He is watching over me and just wants me to stop worrying! He’s got her and I trust Him.

  • Barb Stuart

    I see God as hope and trust.He filled is presence in my life and if I would let him in He made me aware of His importance. He is first and foremost-He died on the cross for me and then He rose from the dead for me..He cares and forgives me of my wrong doings and then He allows me toenjoy His Presence. Peace and love to you all!

  • Adrianna

    When I was a little girl I learned a song in the church choir. “Our God is an AWESOME God, he reigns from Heaven above… With wisdom and power and love! Our God is an AWESOME God!” This is how I see God. I also remember doing a chant with our teachers. God is good…. All the time God is good. 😊

  • Ana Graciela Ramos Otero

    I identify myself with Renessa!!God is THE artist …the ultimate creator of ALL things, making them new every day for our delight and benefit!

  • Mario Cannariato

    I see God as all knowing all loving all forgiving all healing all powerful living God. I feel his presence when I meet and speak with people searching for a new level of spirituality. My direction to these new people has been two fold I tell them about Matthew Kelly a dedicated Catholic author and secondly I invite them to make a Cursillo weekend. This is when I feel Jesus’ presence knowing that I have given two great suggestions to a new person then I pray thy will be done.

    • Karen

      Yes, yes,yes! My view also!

  • Patricia Ferry

    My view of God, as my collaborator and friend began with ACOA, the Serenity Prayer. Learning to turn things over and TRUST became my new habit, over 30 years ago. Getting back to Catholism began with my first child, that’s when I made a conscious choice to be Catholic.
    My faith deepens daily, my spirituality is a daily practice and goes deep into my soul. I have a daily centering, prayer and affirmations to keep me focused on What Thy Will Be Done!
    I love the way God speaks through me, I love how God speaks to me through other people. My heart is filled with joy and love for God.

  • Marie

    When I was young, I saw God as a disciplinarian and as someone I would never be able to make happy.
    Now that I am older, I see him as a forgiving Father who loves me, no matter what I have done. He has and at times, still is, carrying me through a great sorrow.

  • Maria R. Peon Romero

    I see GOD as something larger superior of all things. He is the reason I am here in this world
    The unconditional love for my children and grandchildren.

  • Daniela D.

    I see God as the fountain for all I am, he is there for me in every aspect of my life, big or small. I trust him with all my heart and soul and I try to listen to his messages to do his will.

  • David

    Jesus himself let us know that God is LOVE. He is LOVE in all forms, and he sends his message of love through the acts of kindness of his children who surround us. Thank God for all of them.

  • Bobby

    I used to see God as vindictive and angry — a rule maker and a score keeper. As a victim of sexual abuse, I used to question (and sometimes still do) why God abandoned me in my moment of need. As I’ve matured and come to fully understand free will, I realize that having free will is God’s gift to me, but I also know that the price of free will is that bad things happen to good people. I still struggle rationalizing it all, but in the end I have felt God’s mercy and love. I know too that he suffers along side of me and truly wants the best for me. I have to trust that no matter what, I’m going to be okay — because God loves me. Father Richard Rohr said: “We clearly come to God not by doing it right, but ironically by doing it wrong.” Amen. God has used my own sinfulness, guilt, shame and despair as an invitation and a calling to come to know Him. May I come to know him now … may I do His will always. His will is easy to discern – it’s usually exactly what Matthew Kelly said Day 1: it’s what I resist!

    • Cheryl Beseler

      Thank you for sharing, Bobby – I especially felt the message in though 4 – what an amazing statement and so very true! I have found that by accepting that it is those bad choices – those things we did wrong – that have brought us to this place we are now – open to a desire to know God more deeply – and realize that God wants more for us than we want for ourselves – that He forgives us before we forgive ourselves and that God’s place of Love and Mercy is always there – letting us grow through our mistakes – igniting a fire within us that trusts God and feels the peace of allowing His will to be done. Thank You again for having the courage to share your thoughts – Blessings!

      • Bobby

        Thanks Cheryl — well said!

    • Lea Novak

      Yeah, that God’s will is what I most resist is exactly what I’m afraid of! I know a His will is best, but the fear holds me back…

    • SL

      Bobby, thanks so much for sharing this. I too grew up in a very abusive setting. I ended up being a teenage mother with really nobody to turn to in my life. My son and I survived by what I saw as my hardheadedness and determination alone as there was not any teaching of faith in the household I grew up in. It was not until around 30 that I explored faith and started attending church, first at a Methodist church and eventually learning about the Catholic faith and joining RCIA. My son and I both became Catholic at the same time. He and his wife experienced the loss of their 3rd child (she was only 2 weeks old) and since then he has not returned to the church. The free will explanation truly helped me for what happened in my life growing up but I cannot find an answer for the loss of this sweet innocent baby. There is nothing I can say to my son to help, words are just empty and the free will explanation would mean God’s free will? Your words truly helped me today I just wish I had some words to help my son. Again thanks for your words today.

      • Voochkoo

        Your granddaughter accomplished God’s will im her short two weeks on earth. There was no reason for her not to return to God the Father’s arms. She is an angel. Ask her to intercede to the Holy Spirit to move into your son’s heart to reunite him with his faith. Ask Mary who understands what it means to lose a son to intercede also

    • Betty

      Bobby, I posted earlier about my abuse as well and how I live in fear of “Thy Will Be Done” because of it. I just wanted to say I am sorry for your abuse. You didn’t deserve to have that happen to you and it wasn’t your fault. I am sorry that someone felt they had the right to hurt you….Bless you!

      • Bobby

        Thank you Betty!

  • Carol Lynn

    God is LOVE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS. Being GRATEFUL for God’s Gift in Christ, AND Everlasting Love, Support, and BEING is the best thing I can do “for myself”, and peacefully, and patiently surrender to “Thy Will Be Done”.

  • Carolyn Langevin

    I see God as my loving father who would do anything for me – even to giving up his life.

  • Mark

    I see God as a transformer, who like an artist can transform a piece of material into a work of art. But, my God has transformed me into a better version of myself. Thy will be done!

  • Jacob

    I see God as love. He may not see the love. I know it there. I know he is loving me in many different situation. It I am dealing with anger or being upset. In a situation, that I though he would help me.
    At the end of the day, I know he is there and watching me. He know the the struggle that we go through on a daily basics. I still think he is there and he is loving us no matter what we are dealing with.

  • Linda

    A bible study I was in a few years back helped me to see God as truly our father, our parent so to speak, which made me want to do things to make Him proud of me!

  • K.P.

    Thanks Renessa Foronda. Wow, just wow. Very interesting description of God. It is so deep and wonderful. It has really changed my whole perspective. Thanks for blessing us with your reflection.

  • Jami

    If you want to do something this lent to understand God and what he wants from us…see the movie “The Shack”. It is a powerful and thought evoking movie that helps us to understand God as our loving Father and what he wants from us.

  • Rita scollard

    Ranessa, i love your vision of God..your co-collaborator and the master of your puzzle. He does know where all the pieces fit in my life and my job as His co-collaborator is TRUST. thank you for this simplistic vision of my GOD. Today is my birthday..74 years young..and I thank you for this gift you gave me today. God bless you!

  • Angie O’Mara

    How do I see God? My most favorite thing to wear are a pair of flannel pj’s pants, and a comfortable big sweatshirt. I see God in these things, wrapping His arms around me, and letting me know that He is there to give me strength, hope and comfort. He is my best friend, always ready to listen to me, give me advice, help steer me in the right direction,love me unconditionally, and share in my joys and sorrows.

  • Marian Wilder

    Great words to ponder today!! I think it is important that we seek to know our own story and journey with God. Hopefully, we all have moved from the image of God we knew as a child! The work I do in Lighthouse Catholic Media has brought me to conclude that many cradle Catholics are riding their Catholic “tricycle”! They have not graduated to a big boy bike!! When I got passed memorizing answers to questions, I began to encounter the person of Jesus!! For me that happened around 23. I turn 63 today so I feel that I have been seeking to know my Lord better all my life!! It took many twist and turns but I never doubt it was all in God’s will! Really enjoy this reflection every morning!

  • Jenny

    I see God in two ways: the first as my father who I can go to – especially when I need comfort. I often picture myself sitting on his knee asking for a hug. The second is Jesus as my best friend, sitting in the passenger seat of my car drinking a coffee and talking about everything. 😊❤️

  • Debbie King

    Thy will be done brings to mind 4 more words: trust, humility, hope, love.

  • Jenny

    I have been really contemplating the message since starting this journey after finishing reading Resisting Happiness. I am re-reading the book as I am viewing the videos and it is really having an impact. Yesterday’s message of asking God what He wants or what I should do is not a new concept for me – yet something I struggle with on a daily basis. Today’s message of Thy will be done is nothing more than a reinforcement. Sometimes I feel like God is hitting me over the head with a box of rocks, yet I still don’t get it – or rather do not want to listen. I lost my job in October and I have been struggling with the situation. Yesterday someone I know who was in a similar situation made a bold move and completely changed their path. I thought – wow, what courage! Then it occurred to me that I need to really, seriously ask God what I should do now. I mean – seriously ask Him and listen for the answer. The answer I heard today in my kitchen as I was getting my coffee and talking to God – what took you so long. 😊❤️

  • Nancy Engler

    One day it occurred to me that if God loves me one tenth of how much I love my grandson, I am truly blessed.

  • Deb Durrett

    I see God as the lover of my soul, the creator of the painting that is my life, and the Father who walks with me all along the way. I learned of his sadness about
    My times of sadness when my mother died. I don’t recall ever being angry at him. I just suddenly realized as I missed her so very much that this must be how he feels when his children are away from him and/or he feels like they cannot be comforted. He truly understands. I’m so grateful for him caring for and taking care of me. He did so through Mom for 29 years.

  • Kiki

    Right this moment I see God in the face of my 2month old grandchild, peacefully resting, God’s love oozing from her tiny body.

    I am reminded of a powerful experience 5 years ago while caring for her big brother (my 1st grand), physically feeling God’s presence in the room, wrapping His love around both of us, bringing me to tears.

    I’ll never forget that miraculous moment, that feeling of this little infant drawing me into God’s loving arms. It was so powerful & wonderful.

    And so today, 5 years later, I see God in his greatest creation, babies… the place where we all started, the miracle of mankind.

    I thank God this right now for little #7, stirring today the memory of the strong presence of God I feel in the presence of new life. I am so blessed!

  • alma r candelaria

    I like to think of God more as the voice in my head that nudges me this way or that way. He gives me free will so I don’t always listen. When I don’t listen and then later reflect I understand why that way was the better choice. He’s a teacher, mentor, advocate. His voice is not always booming. It more often is gentle, guiding, and optimistic.

    • Marise Petry

      Hi Alma. You put into words what I could not. My view of God is much the same as yours. Thank you for sharing.

  • Mary Anne Miller

    I saw God in my children and grandchildren. But as I near 70 I am closer to seeing Him as a loving, accepting parent who rejoices in my small attempts to quit trying to understand eternity and believe in an everlasting peace. He is helping me explain God and good works to my progeny.

  • jmfg43

    One of the ways I see God is ever-faithful. There was a time in my life when grieving the loss of my fiance, that I literally fired God. I was unable to trust his plan for my life in that circumstance. I to this day, do not claim to understand the plan. But when I look back over my life, I see many ways that God protected and led me when I had no awareness of his acting for my good. While I may not in my limited vision like some of what occurs in my life, I do understand that God desired my best and He is trustworthy and faithful.

  • Marty

    I see God as a loving parent, a forgiving parent, one to whom I can run to all day long to receive love and acceptance. I see Him with open arms waiting for me to come home.

  • Margie Suarez

    I see God as my Father. He wants the best for me. I see goodness in His actions towards me. I do feel favored. He makes himself known to me. I feel frightened that He who is all has looked upon me and Has saved me from my reckless ways, and has spoken to my heart. He tells me that he loves me. I am in Awe. I am but a grain of salt, yet very blessed and frightened. Thy will be done.

  • Don Kerrigan

    I see God in the smiling face of a beautiful 12-year old girl. Right before Christmas last year she fell from a roof and suffered multiple fractures, collapsed lungs, and an injury to he brain as the result of a fractured skull. She was not expected to live, let alone make the miraculous recovery that she has made. Today she is walking, talking, smiling, laughing and could be home from the hospital in two weeks. Every day she is remembering more and more and slowly recalling her life before her tragic accident. I see God as our loving provider who gave this child the opportunity to live again.

  • Sandra

    I have, even as a child, experienced God as a presence. He is with me always. And like my parents who are no longer with me, yet are always on my mind, so too is God. It’s impossible to be away from Him, though it is possible to be unaware. He is not there to solve all of are problems, but He does take this walk through life with us as our truest love and most constant companion. He does want us to know Him, to trust Him, and to not make ourselves miserable by forcing our way all the time. Life is meant to flow and be enjoyed, even through the hard times and learning experiences. If not to learn and to love, why else are we here? God so loves us that He is not like an indulgent parent who grants every wish to a spoiled child. Instead, He lets us live and takes our hand through every moment and in every heartbeat. Only by surrendering to the flow of God’s will do we feel a measure of His unfathomable wisdom, peace, and love. I hardly ever do–but sometimes!!

  • Cheryl Beseler

    God the mighty creator, the gentle parent, the patient teacher – the writer of a book of many journeys – God knows the ending, but gives us free-will to move through the chapters – God puts messages throughout – we interpret them and continue through the maze of life. Not until we surrender to God’s Willl – allow the divine writer to move us through the chapters following His plan – will we truly feel the happiness we are meant for. Each day I thank God for the messages scattered throughout my day – words, people, sights, sounds – and ask that I may continue to pay attention to these, follow the plan of God’s journey and find the path of least resistance with God as my companion, giving me strength, love and compassion.

  • Mary Pat McGrath Raynor

    How I see God has evolved as I have changed throughout my life. When I became a parent, I was so shaken by the depth of my love for my girls. I had not ever experienced how deeply I could love and it was almost frightening to me. My love for God increased as I spent more time in prayer thanking God for these children and continuously seeking His guidance to raise them properly as a single parent. I constantly remind myself that His love for me and for them is even deeper than I am capable of loving. Now, as “Nana” to 8, I’m experiencing another level of love which drives me to act out of this love to make changes in our world. He is my confidant, my best friend who not only wants the best for me, but also pushes me to become a better version of myself. His unconditional love helps me through my stressful interactions and helps me to keep my eye on the goal of becoming holy. He helps me to act with confidence in situations where my inclination would be to hold back because I am not confident at all. Amazingly, in these types of situations, my confidence has grown in doing what He wants me to do. He is,whatever I need in any situation…my protector, my helper, my therapist, my coach who won’t let me off the hook when I resist change.

  • Pinky

    I see God as a soft and beautiful light filling the vast emptiness within me. The light who calls me to a deeper relationship and invites me to see more clearly from within- to be more aware of His loving presence in all of life.

  • Sadie

    God brought 6 of us children out of poverty and abuse.
    God gave my Mother the home I prayed for.
    God brought healing for my 2 premature twin grandbabies that were so near death.
    Thank you LORD. Thy Wii be done.

    • Roberrt

      May your blessings continue forever. I so enjoyed your post.

    • Pat

      Bless you Sadie. Your trust is a great encouragement.

  • Sandra

    I just had another thought. We are made in God’s image, so how we sometimes feel, those things that are the deepest yearning of our hearts, of most human hearts give us a hint of what God is like. In this life, most of us want to be seen, appreciated and loved for who we are. We feel lonely and disappointed when we are not. God wants the same. He wants us to know, love, and serve Him. For only in this mutuality with Him is our certainty and peace.

  • Susan

    Amen

  • Pat Nelson

    I see God from a relativistic physics point of view. God is light. Relativistic physics has proven that objects moving at speeds very close to the speed of light experience distance, mass, and time very differently than do we, who are moving much more slowly. The math breaks down when an object reaches the speed of light – in fact, the mathematical word for what happens to the equations when you reach the speed of light is “infinity”, which, coincidentally(?), is also one word we use to describe God. My point is that God, who IS light, does not experience any distance between two objects – He is everywhere at once. He also does not experience the passage of time the way we do – there is no difference between the past, present, or future. So, if time, mass, and distance – the only things we tend to think of as “real” – are meaningless to God, what is left to have meaning? Only those things that we describe as “intangibles” – thought and love, to name two. To me, those are the real essence of God, and when we say that we are created in the image and likeness of God, we really are saying that God has shared with us the ability to think and the ability to love. I find comfort in knowing that I share qualities with God! And I look forward to my spirit being freed from the limitations of time, mass, and distance once I have served God’s purpose in this life!

    • Pat

      Thank you Pat. It makes sense, doesn’t it! I had a deep experience of God when I first studied chemistry. As you know, all the atomic numbers are in order! There He is, leaving another “clue”.

  • Terrence Hasty

    I see God as the purest of light. Like in this Sunday’s gospel. But I would love to help my friends that see him through a little knot hole in a wall that is filled with pain and discust over something in thier past. Teach me how to open thier hearts and see God in a better way.

  • NancyB

    This video was loaded with thought provoking information. Just what I needed today as I know I have been struggling, I grew up as a young impressionable child in the early ’60’s in a Catholic school. The God I learned about was one who was to be feared. The threat of hell was always first and foremost in religion class. Matthew’s video made me realize that part of me is still stuck in this vision of God, the Father. As a result, I am struggling to see him as forgiving, peace-filled, and loving. As I have matured, when I think of Jesus, I feel the peaceful, forgiving, loving God in his human person. My problem is blending my child image of God the Father with my more adult image of Jesus, God in the Trinity. I am grateful for this video because it is making me realize that I am stuck in my faith. Now I need to ask the Holy Spirit for grace to move beyond by childhood image of God to the all-loving and all-forgiving God. Thank you Matthew for this video today. It came at a good point in my Lenten reflections.

  • Sue

    I see God now–in my life as a loving Father. I didn’t always.
    when I was younger–my father was a Hll Fire & Damnation God. I didn’t like the fact yhatv every time I screwed up I was bound for Hell. So as soon as I got old enough–I left home & God behind.
    there was always a feeling I was never truly happy. Didn’t even know what would really make me happy. Then my sister joined the Catholic church. She had been sad all her life too. Now she really seemed to love her God. So I vwas curious to find out what her God was like–so on Sunday I went to the Catholic church with her. I was astoundedto find out God is a loving God & truly wants us to be happy! That changed my whole thinking of God. Now I can only think of Him as a loving Father I can go to any time day or night & He is always there to guide me & wrap his loving arms around me when I need it the most..

    • Cheryl

      I share a similar background with you! In visiting the Catholic Church when I was a teen, I heard about this God loves us more than we can ever imagine. This is the God I longed for – not the one whose wrath I had always heard about. I followed my heart to the Catholic Church and never looked back. This loving God has been with me through life’s ups and downs and is always there for me.

  • Teresa Elliott

    I see God as all of the below:

    Love
    Joy
    Peace
    Holy
    Father
    Protector
    Rock
    Redeemer
    Comforter
    Friend
    One who covers me
    Sovereign
    All powerful
    All knowing
    Faithful
    Unbelievable Sacrificial Lamb
    Spirit and Truth
    Warrior
    Judge and ultimate Justice

    One of the most amazing mysteries about God is how he can fill me with such immense peace and joy even in the midst of intense pain. When Jesus said he would send the Holy Spirit as our comforter and that Jesus would be with us always even until the end of the age, I fully believe it because I feel his overwhelming presence even in the midst of trial and evil around me. I am so thankful for all the wonderful things God is.

  • Virginia Abbruscato Cambalik

    God to me is the meditation for my soul. When I am hurting he sends me TLC through people, uplifting experiences and hope. I believe he is always with me, and prayer is my part of our relationship. I act as close as possible how I believe he would proceed in any given situation and when I faulted he is the peace maker for my soul.

  • Christine Poganski

    I see God as unshakable. I see God full of unending hope and love. I see God full of compassion & understanding, and forgiveness. Thank you God.

  • Lea Novak

    I see God as the everlasting artist who paints the sky and the sea in their constantly changing beauty, just for us to appreciate, each day and each moment a beautiful picture just for us. I also see the incredible detailed precision of each part fitting together into a harmonious whole.
    And I see the incredible love of His Son, who suffered and died in agony for me, and ask myself, how can I not trust Him with my life? And I try harder to trust that His will is indeed what is best for me.
    And I see the Holy Spirit as the living love of Father and Son, which graces me with a peek into that communion of love, and I ask that He will come and fill me with that same love, so that I can bring that love to everyone I meet.
    Of course, I never do that as well as I would like, so I constantly apologize to God for my failures, and ask for His continuing patience with me as I try to do better each day.

  • Kathy

    I see God everyday in my two grandchildren and the blessing God gave me to be a huge part of their life. My four year grandson never let’s a meal to start until everyone at the table says a prayer of thanksgiving for the food in front of us. At bedtime he is now learning a more complex prayer and it starts with “Thankyou heavenly father” and then continues to thank him for various people and things. That was a wake up call for me the first time I heard him say it, of course, its a memorized prayer but non the less he says it every night. I realized after that my duty as a granddmother is to talk about Jesus to him and do it as much as possible throughout the day. It made me realize that he was seeing Our Heavenly Father in a much clearer way than I do so that’s something I’m working on during lent. My other grandson is 6 months old and I take care of him during the day so I have lots of time to talk with him about Jesus. I know , of course, he doesn’t necessarily uderstand what I’m saying but I feel like I’m setting a building block for later. Imagine at 63 that I now see God more clearly through the eyes of these little children who were a blessing to me from God.

  • Andrea

    Renessa’s image of God and how they collaborate and the trust that’s involved really resonated with me. I struggled for a long time with the trust part, a brokenness which He has healed so much in me in the last two years. There is so much more joy in letting go than in holding on too tightly. Thank you for the beautiful reflection. God bless!

  • TerriB

    God is doing something in my life. I’m in the throws of construction. It’s loud, messy and my patience is short. I’m tired of living in a cramped space with tools strewn about. He is showing me in the midst of this how much lack of trust I still have. Growing up my parents stressed the accountant God, where He was always watching you screw up. I know it’s the reason I swing back and forth between perfectionism and black and white thinking. It’s gotten me again in the last few days to where I feel like I’m losing it and my husband is side eyeing me like he’s worried I’m cracking up. My youngest is 5 months old and still learning how to nap in the day. I feel guilty for all the things I am neglecting (my house, my clean laundry in dryer for days, dirty floors) as well as my other children who don’t have a proper mother right now as I struggle with the needs of the baby. I know it’s only a sesson and it goes quickly. And to add to rhe madness hubby is on night shift so there’s no relief for a few minutes either. Prayers and wisdom appreciated!

  • Sara Harkins

    I struggle with this because God is a silent type. I can pray and except for three times in my life, I receive nothing but silence or so it seems. Who is God? He is the Creator. He loves us. He stays completely quiet 99.9% of the time and doesn’t seem to answer most prayers. I believe in him, and what the Church teaches, because it is the most logically satisfying explanation for the world. However, it does not seem like we can have a relationship with someone who does not talk. It does not seem like one can say, “thy will be done” to someone who outside of the rather vague rules of behavior required in the written Word, and the church founded by the loving Word, gives nearly no indication of his will.

    • TerriB

      Oh, He talks. Ask Him to open your ears so you might hear Him. Let your eyes be open to all He wants to show you. Spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament and ask Him to whisper to your heart. Praying that you hear His voice today.

      • Sara Harkins

        Thank you for your prayers. I will (and currently do) do what you suggest, except for adoration because I’m a SAHM and toddlers seem to not be welcome at our once monthly adoration. Again, thanks for the prayers. I would love to hear God respond for a change.

        • TerriB

          Sarah, I sah too. In fact, about to run to school to drop off my daughter’s lunch she left. Planning to drop by Blessed Sacrment myself. Don’t let anyone discourage you from bringing your littles to church. If you aren’t comfortable at your own parish, find a child friendly one. We have enough stress living as a Catholic today then to experience it among our own church members. Don’t let them stiffle you. My parish has one door to a side chapel open for a few hour window. That’s where I take the little ones. Peace.

    • Gail DeFalcon

      He is talking to you.Your statement that what the church teaches is the most logically satisfying explanation in the world is God talking to you you are a woman of faith God is speaking to you and through you

  • Sandra

    As a child I seen God more along the lines of Santa Claus. Always watching
    Me, so I better be good. Now I see God
    as my Father, still watching over me,
    gently guiding me.

  • Maureen Daniels Ceglia

    When I was a child I saw God as judging, someone I was fearful of, someone I could never be good enough for….never as a loving God the elders told me he was. If I was bad I was going to hell, how could a child not fear a God like that. As I got older something about that was not right to me and so I began my search for a God that made some sense to me. Now I see God as a Mystery, all inclusive who loves unconditionally, who loves us all like we are the only person in the world. There is nothing that I could do that would make Him stop loving me. He has placed Himself in me and I yearn for Him as He yearns for me. He is gentle and tender and the best part is that He sees Himself in us. We are a reflection of Him. God loves us not because we are good, God loves us because He is good. What a burden that takes off my shoulders.

  • keith

    Great discussion today…I see God as above me, mystery and beyond my understanding. I see God as Love and I surrender to His Grace. It grieves me to admit this, but I am bound to my fallen nature and my will is opposed to God’s. So I have unconditionally surrendered my will to Him. I do not attempt to discern His Will in my life, because that is a path that leads me to my will be done, rather I pray that God works His Will in and through me. I see God as the rocky Mountains – the closer I get to Him, the further away I realize I am from Him. God is merciful and like you all, I love Him with all my heart, soul and mind…God bless you all!

  • Kathy

    I very much like Renessa’s talk and how she put that she is one of the many, many pieces of God’s plan and that she only knows her part of his plan. This is how I make sense of why maybe some of the things I pray for do not get answered in the way I am expecting or want. Only God knows how I and the people around me fit into his plan, and it is all for good, so I can be assured that all that happens will work out in the end:)

    • Sindy Soria

      I agree

  • JoAnn Kimball

    RE: Thy Will Be Done. When my father passed in 2002 I became my mother (80) and my brother’s (non-verbal quadriplegic with Muscular Dystrophy) care giver. For 13 years I lived the mandate from God to do the best I could to make sure they were taken care of. My mom passed at the age of 92 at home surrounded by those who knew and loved her. My prayers for her were answered. My prayer for my brother at that time was that God give me the chance to continue to carry out His work and make certain nothing happened to me before my brother. I wanted to finish God’s work and not leave him alone in the nursing home. I was eagerly anticipating 3 maybe 4 more years of being with him. Three months later my brother developed respiratory problems that ended his life. I was stymied. When I asked God to make sure he passed before I did, I meant YEARS not MONTHS. I was lost, shocked. I was ready to step up and be there for him. I wanted to continue the journey I was given 13 years earlier. I was heartbroken. “Thy will be done” “Thy will be done.” I repeatedt he mantra over and over trying to find solace but it was always followed by “But….” “But….” This was not my plan but, once again, “Thy will be done.” It has been almost two years now and I still miss them very much every single day. But I know they are whole and happy and with the rest of my family and I am free to pursue whatever else God has in store for me. And it is my fervent prayer each and every day that I can step up and continue to walk the path that will one day lead me to be with them again surrounded by God’s love and forgiveness reciting the mantra “Thy will be done” but this time with no “Buts…” .

  • Gail DeFalcon

    It is funny that this is my first entry and I am a CcD teacher and this week we[ 6th graders] discussed the attributes of God and the first comment made by a child was that God is loving some others that He is creative artistic forgiving .I was greatly encouraged by this because as a child I may have perceived Him as a stern Father. Then somewhere along the long road of seeking Him I too became aware of the unconditional love of God who desires good for us and my daily prayer is taken fro the Angelus” be it done unto me according to your word” Trusting at long last that God,s will for me is part of His unconditional love even though at times I cannot understand a particular event in my life. I live alone now and am never afraid because His Prescence is with me always.

  • JayAW

    I really don’t know how to see God. My mother in law was very sick for many years and her heart even stopped a few times, but she was revived and kept living. I see that as a blessing, but I also watched as she deteriorated over the years and how my wife and her family were constantly worrying every day whether something more would happen. She died last year and everyone misses her, but to be absolutely honest, the constant worry is now gone and everyone is moving on with their lives. On one hand you wonder why God puts this immense burden and suffering on people and then on the other hand, you see what a relief it is when that person dies and that burden is gone. Its tough not to see God as cruel and unfeeling when you see and feel such harsh suffering with people you love and sometimes even with yourself. That’s part of what it means to be human, I guess.

  • Francine Flood

    I became a Dynamic Catholic Ambassador because God directly affected my life when I purchased a Matthew Kelly Lighthouse Catholic CD. That CD led me to attending a retreat he held and reading the books he recommends. I did not know who I was or what I was here for before then making for a very sad existence when you are dependent upon others words and thoughts to validate you. It was probably the first time I ever felt God’s influence in my life. There is nothing like the feelings I receive when I am able to reach someone else in their darkness and open their eyes to the light. All I know is that God loves me (and all of us) and wants the best for us as only He can know it although it is oftentimes unbelievably difficult to see it from our perspective. Thy will be done.

  • Shyne4god

    Wow Love being a Gramma also !yes to see God in our Grandchildren is the most beautiful amazing thing Ever !and often do I think What have I done to deserve this ! I have 4grandkids and my 4year old Grandson either asked me Nana you going to work or Church !the second most amazing thing is seeing the sun rise and it’s Beauty! As I study this I have my curtains open and see the sun coming up !! (So amazing the sight along with the study ) I think to myself what Beauty our God has created and if it’s only a glimpse of seeing him face to face I’m ready !! Thank you Dynamic Catholic !!

  • Eleanor Thomas

    40 years ago I was a woman in my early 30’s struggling with fertility issues and deeply wishing to be a mother. I had been through a round of medication, had major surgery, and we also applied for adoption which was going very slowly. As I prayed (and shed a few tears) one day in September, I realized that I needed to pray for the strength ;to accept God’s will, whatever happened. Two months later I became pregnant and nine months later I gave birth to my beautiful twin boys. Eleanor Thomas

  • Emma Spaulding

    I see God as a very loving person, who wants the best for everyone, always there for me, forgives me even when it’s hard to forgive myself, and is the creator of everything. God is Awesome. God already knows whats going to happen in our lives, so we have to be able to trust God and believe that He knows what He is doing and follow that path that He has made for us.
    I do believe that my image of God has changed for the better. I was the person that believed just because my parents “told me to” and went to Mass because I had to. Now I do this, but because I really believe and I want to. I have learned so much about God and Jesus since joining the Bible study at college and I couldn’t be happier. I will continue looking to God is times of sorrow and smiles, loss and gain: He will always be there for me, just like a friend.

    • Sindy Soria

      If only more people view God the same way you and most of the people here, this would be a better world. I guess we have to live our faith so that others that don’t read this can just see God in us. Thank you for your words they are beautiful.

  • Bill Korber

    As a child I viewed God as this all powerful old man with a white beard and dominion over all.  You could almost say Zeus-like.  It could have been a result of being exposed to Greek mythology as a child.  

    As I grew older I had an opportunity to receive religious instruction as a student at a Catholic grammar school.  I became very familiar with the rituals and beliefs of the Catholic Church.  I was even an altar server for a time.  

    It was not until fairly recently say within the last 5 or 6 years that I really started to grasp what or should I say who God is.  Did I miss out? Perhaps, but this was how my faith journey revealed itself to me. 

     Do I buy in to all the pomp and circumstance of my church?  Not necessarily, but I have grown to appreciate the value of fellowship and receiving the sacraments.  There is a lot of contradiction in my religion.  I believe that is because it is an institution run by human beings.  We humans often have difficulty getting things right.  Within our church and throughout our journey we encounter people or moments that really solidify our faith.  

    So who is God?  Who is this Jesus guy?  What exactly is a Holy Spirit?  What I have learned as I have lived my life is that three persons are essential parts of who we are.  God is our father, creator, advisor and provider.  He loves us unconditionally.  Unconditional love is a concept we humans struggle with.  If you are lucky enough to be a parent you get a glimpse.  It is one of the most challenging things to do.  God does it without hesitation.  This is all powerful.  Jesus?? Jesus is us.  He is human, but he is God.  He teaches us how to be like him.  He is our mentor our older brother.  He says just do the right thing always or as often as possible.  He dies for us. Not just the people he knows, likes or loves, but all of us the good the bad and the ugly.  He personifies and exemplifies the notion of agape.  

    The Holy Spirit is the strength and grace we need as we struggle to be like him. It all fits nicely together like a puzzle. 

    This puzzle of the trinity becomes this beautiful picture of who we are and how we are supposed to live.  Our faith journey is putting these pieces together so they make sense to us.  To me it’s that simple. A daunting task this life of faith, but worth the effort. 

    • Sindy Soria

      Well said!

  • Maria

    My daily prayer begins with may your will be done. Do not let my vision or idea of what I believe my day should look like stand in your way. Your way is better than my way. Once I say that and believe in that, everything seems to fall where they need to. May his will be done in my life.

  • John Rachel

    Life is a beautiful painting. I see God as the painter and I am the brush. There’s not more to say than that.

  • Tricia Gipson

    Renessa’s video is beautiful, and her view of God is inspired. Thank you!

  • Nancy

    My imagine of God has evolved over the years as I’m sure it has with most people! When I was a child God was more of a parent! As I became an adult and had children God was the go to person when I needed help! Now that I am retired I see God as a friend! I spend more time thanking him for all he has blessed me with in my life!

  • Laura LaDue

    I see God as a loving parent. This love is unconditional. That’s it. God is love.

  • Emily Beggs

    I don’t know how I could ever fear the God I feel in my heart. I feel his love for me so much and yet he has a profound respect for the person I am. The trust He places in me to follow my path and influence others in my life as He wishes is incredible. How can you not feel so special and blessed?

  • Betty’s Blessing

    I see the love of God, in special needs children. My brother Raymond, passed away at 4 years old. At birth, he was given a year to live, but with the love and care of my mom, he made it to 4 years old. He had Down’s Syndrome. They show pure love and just make your smile! You can’t beat the hugs either!

  • Susan

    I love what you are trying to do here. But “the things God gets blamed for” is kind of hard when you know someone who has been abused by a priest when they were a child. I understand that it was the abuser that was at fault- but when the church defends that abuser and rejects and shames that child and continues to do so- who should we, or a kid, blame? I believe His will will be done, but the Church is resisting His will. I’ve done everything I can to help bring this reconciliation to happen, and yet the institution continues to rely on the advice of lawyers instead of faith. And these people and their families continue to suffer. What parent would give their child a stone when he asks for bread? Plenty of Catholic parents did this when their kids told them what was happening to them. I love my Church, I love God and I love all the priests who have to suffer the jokes and suspicions because the institution of the Church will not reach out to these lost sheep. These kids who will never be able to understand a loving God because of the sin of a few criminals. They will never understand because the Church chose the criminals over the innocent. I love when I read today’s message: ask and it will be given, knock and the door shall be opened. And I am always encouraged thinking that today will be the day. The day my Church humbles itself and reaches out to these lost sheep. I believe when we do that, His will will be done, and we will have truly seen God in our midst. God bless you.

  • John Rachel

    Life is a beautiful painting. God is the painter and I am the brush. There’s not more to say than that.

  • priscilla keyes

    Best lent ever..for sure…by listening to dynamic Catholics everyday, I feel so much closer to god….i have also been reading the bible every night ( a suggestion from our priest at st. Katherine drexel) I feel so inspired…what a great feeling…thank you for inspiring my life at this time of lent..

  • colleen

    I really resonated with Renessa’s analogy. When we only have one little piece of the work of art that the Lord is creating with each of our lives, it is easy to imagine many different final products, each with its own path. But only God truly knows what the finished work will look like, and I need to spend time with Him and faithfully work on the piece I am given at the moment, without needing to know what the outcome will be. I can only do this if I see God as trustworthy and present and active in my life. Being a parent has helped me know God’s love for me and desire for my good more than anything else, and has helped me be able to more fully surrender myself to His Will for my life. (Though I do need to continually remind myself that He truly does have a beautiful plan for my life, more beautiful than anything I could come up with on my own.)

  • Paul

    I see God as the most merciful being , able to love us unconditionally through good times and bad. I also see him as a being who will always be there in times of need to offer support and comfort. As some of the previous posts state, my view has definitely evolved with time, from the all powerful ruler and judge, to the most compassionate friend that never leaves your side. When Matthew states in the video “Thy Will Be Done”, that is the leap of faith we must take daily. Put your entire trust in God.

  • Sr. Chris

    I see God as an inclusive and unconditional loving mother and father. For many years now I have never referred to God as male. As several popes have told us God is also mother, and I feel very strongly that until we see God as both father and mother, we will miss the “whole” of who God is. Jesus gave us hints of this, too. When he told the story of God who seeks out the lost, we were given the image of a shepherd: a man whose strength and determination seeks out the lost. The very next story is about the woman who finds the lost coin. We seemed to have missed that Jesus was saying that this also was his picture of God; a woman who persists until she finds the lost and then throws a party. Sometimes we need our fathers; other times we need our mothers. In Genesis we hear God say, Let us make them in our image– male and female, says God, is “our image.” God is all about relationship; our world cries out for relationship, equality, and inclusiveness. This is the image of God we are called to be.

  • Sindy Soria

    I see God as the foundation of my house without him any storm that comes our way will destroy my house. With him as my foundation my house will stand strong and survive even the toughest hurricane. I rely on him when things get though and I praise him when things are great; like the sunrise and sunset or when I see someone smile or when he saves me everyday. Is difficult being close to God because so many temptations come our way but all we have to do is call him, call his name out loud and he will be there!

  • Leslie M

    Renessa Foronda, thank you for sharing your vision of God. I love it! It reminds me of a kind, loving and nurturing orchestra leader only on a much larger scale!

  • John L. Kemmis

    How do I see God?
    I see you in so many ways.
    You are the ultimate, personal, living journal (to write in), my closest friend and love. You know everything I do, touch, say, and love. You seem so patient when I cry, when I am angry, when I am blinded by joy.
    You are my hiking and trail leader, taking me down a path unknown, unseen, un-experienced by me. I trust and depend on you.
    You give me joy and heartache at unexpected, and unwanted times.
    You are the words and their order for when I write.
    You are the colors in the soft pastel strokes on my paper.
    You are the pen & ink strokes that I lay down on the paper’s surface.
    You are my love that I seek.
    That is how I see God.

    • Mog

      I love your comment John, I will keep a copy of it, if I may.
      It really speaks to me.

  • Elaine

    I see God as present and available. He is in everything I see and if I need to talk with him I am able to. I know things happen for a reason even though I don’t know what that reason is and that’s okay. I can’t possibly understand what God’s reasons are, but I trust him in everything.

  • Margo Portanova

    I see God as my Father, Mentor, counselor, my Partner in life.

  • Janet Noonan

    Renessa’s video did such an awesome job of expounding on Matthew’s teaching today. We can only see so many parts of the puzzle. God sees and knows them all. Remembering that and trusting in his goodness and great love for us would have saved me from ‘eating crow’ and apologizing and asking forgiveness so many times in my life.

  • Lorie Heyn

    I came to know Jesus at the age of 5 in AWANA. I’m not really sure I could quantify how I saw God as a child. I remember thinking the senior pastor must be like God – a distant leader that was kind of not approachable. The other pastors, they youth pastor, an associate pastor who was the father of one of my friends, they were more approachable, but not the senior pastor. We didn’t exactly fear him, but we did in a way, because we didn’t know him well. In my teens and early 20’s, I certainly saw the dictator God who was looking for a reason to disperse judgement at our first error, to make our day go badly because we didn’t get up early enough to have our devotional time, to make our lives miserable as soon as we did something that wasn’t his “perfect will” even if we weren’t exactly sure what that was in all cases. At this point in my life, now in my 40’s, I’m trying to see God for who he is, according to scripture, as holy, as powerful, but as loving – loving enough to send his son to be the sacrifice for me, while I was yet a sinner. After having studied anatomy & physiology, cellular biology, biochem, and exercise physiology, and even pathology, I see God as creator God, not that I haven’t always believe he created the world, but even given the little bit I have learned about our bodies and how they function, I cannot see any explanation for the wonder that is human biology, physiology, psychology, other than God the creator. The rest of nature speaks to me in much the same way, revealing God to be the creator. Hopefully more of God will be revealed to me as I more purposefully pursue who he is.

  • Kristi

    “Thy will be done”. The hardest thing to do because it’s letting go and letting God. But the older I get the less I fight it. When I’m in control, it’s a mess. When God is steering, it’s not. Difficult to remember. Trying to remind myself throughout my day.

    • Jolee

      Amen.

  • Taryn Macary

    I see God as my Father, my life, my only source, my consoler, ..the only source from which love and joy can pour…the only source from which I am capable of loving, giving, breathing….I am totally dependent upon His love for me. “Thy Will Be Done” have been the four most beautiful/precious words for me for as long as I can remember. I have struggled to quiet the voice of Taryn, to allow His will, not mine, to be heard deep within, to open my heart and to surrender/unite with His. God has me!!

  • Janet Buschjost

    I see God as putting together a puzzle. Sometimes the pieces you want to place just don’t fit but he has the perfect piece

  • RM

    I love Renessa Foronda’s description of how she sees God. It would be wonderful to have a transcript of her video to copy and read over from time to time. For me, her description really made an impact and it is something that I would like to keep re-reading especially at times that I feel discouraged. Thank you Renessa, that was beautiful!

  • Pat Langevin

    Renessa Thank you for sharing you image of God. Then I first heard the question I thought God is “the Great Creator” and Jesus is a teacher and friend. But your images is expressed very clearly you have helped me to not stop therbut Renessa to describe my understanding of God it will strgthen my relationship. I know God is one but I pray differently depending on which person of God I pray to and The Spirit is still a mystery too me, I defiantly pray to the Spirit” but it is usually in short desperate prayers or by sending feelings and the answered come quickly or through slow shifting s within. I Love it but can’t explain it and for some reason only seek “The Holy Spirt” in desperate times or when I don’t understand what’s up with me. I wouldn’t if anyone else could share about their relationship with the Spirit or if it is holding me back Spiritually by thinking of three instead of one.

    • Singer

      It occurred to me in reading the scripture about Jesus being tempted by the devil in the desert that the Holy Spirit is the exact opposite of an “evil spirit.” The Holy Spirit prompts us, urges us to care for someone, to notice a need, to be patient and listen, to not say the mean or angry phrase, to encourage another, to bathe the wound. Jesus told us that the Spirit is like the wind, we do not see it, yet we know it is there. We see the effects. It blows where it wills. The ancient Veni Creator has many extraordinary images of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps one of them may root itself for you.

  • Jennifer Bierdz Fondel

    Always patient with a plan far better and more beautiful than mine.
    If my prayers were answered with the limitations in which they were asked, I would have missed out and the incredibly blessed life I live – far greater than anything I imagined for myself.
    In times of hardship, I know 110% that God has a plan for me, and this is his path carved out for me. I might not always like it, but I take it, with complete faith that the end result is well worth the journey.

  • Toni Duffy

    Sometimes I see him as the mean school teacher taking demerits for all I do wrong. And school was not good for me. And that some how all I have done means I am not a good person. So I don’t deserve a good life. I am working on seeing him as a father..

    • Jolee

      Toni,if you read the old testament you will see how often God forgave his chosen people over and over again and saved them from destruction.They were given so much and they horribly rejected His laws.God loves us so much that he can’t help but forgive us no matter what we do to offend Him.He loves you so much and wants you to succeed.

  • Janet Broda

    I see God as a gentle loving figure unlike my own father who was rigid, judgemental, and hypocritical. My dad was so “religious” yet would violate the very thing he was yelling at us kids about. For example: no cursing at the dinner table or throwing food. Dinner table was God’s altar. Who would be the first to curse at the table during an argument with my mom and throw his dinner plate full of food across the room? I do not see God being like my dad. But I do believe God is forgiving and forgive my dad for his transgressions but you are suppose to at least try to not do the same transgressions over and over again. My dad was not Catholic. He was Russian Oxthrodox. I enjoyed the Russian Oxthrodox Church but did not enjoy my dad’s interpuations of how it’s ok to transgress over and over again and think it’s ok, we’re not suppose to judge him but he can judge us, and God forgives and we should forgive him. Does God punish or disapline even though he forgives? I see God as a better father than I had.

  • Judy

    I see God as the master tapestry artist. He creates masterpieces unlike any earthly being can conceive. Where I only see gnarled knots, he sees how each thread weaves together with the others. Some are short; others are long. It’s a colorful image that I’ll get to see in all of God’s splendor someday. For now, I only see the gnarled knots. I don’t know exactly what they mean. I’m guessing it’s the struggles I’ve faced, and how he carried me thru each of them. I’m trusting that he knows how to guide me, and protect me.

    • Kathleen

      Beautiful!

  • Kathleen

    God loves us, surrounds us, fills us. He forgives us, comforts us, leads us. He shows himself to us in every living creature, in every sunrise and sunset, in every storm, waterfall, forest, and ocean. We are but a drop of water, but he fills us, and when we reflect him to the world, there is light and color beyond any imagining.

  • Maddie

    I see God as my teacher. He always tells me what he wants me to do and is supportive of the decisions I make every day. I ask him for help every day, and he willingly lends me advice.

  • Brian28

    I’m glad this was the topic today. I’m doing the read the Bible in a year plan and I’ve been experiencing some really challenging readings in the Book of Numbers where God does seem to be a hot tempered Tyrant. The more I study the context the more I understand it, but it’s still challenging to get through nonetheless

    • Lisa

      I heard a priest once who claimed he could see the love of God in any part of the bible. What a gift!

  • CT

    I had just written down some of my impressions or descriptions of God before I watched Renessa’s video. One of my descriptions is Beautiful Artist. Interesting that Renessa used the term artist also and then tied it to a puzzle. I was just thinking of all that God has created for us to feast our eyes upon and the sounds for our ears to enjoy. As a child I had thought of God as this old, white haired, grandfather who loves his children and grandchildren and hugs them a lot. Now I see God as my guide, partner and support in all that I do. The hard part is the “Thy will be done” instead of “My will be done.”

  • Joanne Williams

    He is the good shepherd. The mostly silent figure who is there, always, for the flock, and with only good, guiding, loving motions, gently leading us. Oh, and don’t we love it when God rescues us from the brambles and puts us back on the right path- and still we stray – and He comes back, again and again with those enormous hands of love.

  • Barbara Ower

    At age 65, I see God as the Supreme Artist and Creator of all things – the earth, the environment, the universe, and last but not least, all humanity. When I get discouraged, I remember something my brother always says: “Barb, we don’t have the playbook. Only God has the playbook.”

    Trying to discern God’s will can also be discouraging, but I try to compare it to looking at a magnificent oil painting in a museum. If you stand very close to the painting with your nose almost touching it, you have no idea what the subject is or what you’re looking at. It’s only when you back away from the painting that you can see it in its entirety, and all its beauty becomes evident when you view it from a distance.

    We need to remember to back away from our problems once in a while, in order to view our lives in their totality. TRUST that God has the great playbook for our lives. Then, in the Classroom of Silence, ask God to help us discern the correct actions we should take. He WILL help us, if only we listen for His Voice.

    Blessings to all during this Lenten season.

  • Charles

    Matthew Kelly raised today the issue of why someone might leave the Church, the Faith, or even God. He gave two examples: ‘My brother died’ and ‘what happened in Haiti, how could God let that happen?’. BUT Matthew NEVER really gave an answer to those questions, of which there are many more like them: ‘My child died’ and ‘My Wife was raped, tortured, and killed’ and there are many more traumatic events that happen to people, everyday, from all walks of life. Matthew’s SORTOF answer at the end, after a discussion on ‘how does our view of God change as we age’ was, ‘Thy Will Be Done’.
    I don’t believe that’s a good answer to those kind of questions.
    ‘Thy Will Be Done’ certainly suggests that God allowed these terrible things to happen.
    Is this what Matthew intended to represent? Is this where we are at then, facing the tough question ‘What God would do such a thing to his people?’. Sounds like the God of the Old Testament, to me. Does Matthew have a better answer to this last question? Does ANYONE here have a better one?

    • Brian28

      I have some thoughts on this that I can share with you. There’s a lot, so I’d rather just go back and forth and leave comments throughout the day because I’m at work.

      I’d look at Luke 13:1-4. Jesus talks about a tower that falls and kills 18 people. He asks did that tower fall because they were worse sinners? He says no. Other scripture talk about the fact that the rain falls on both the Good and the Bad. Things happen in life both good and bad to all kinds of people. It’s part of living in a fallen world.

      Another thing to think about is the Garden of Eden. What in the heck was the tree doing there?!? If the tree wasn’t there, then Man doesn’t fall right? The tree represents the choice that we all have to reject God. Love only truly exists when we have the alternative choice to do evil. Without that alternative choice, there can be no love. We can only love people, because we have the choice to do evil to them. These hardships have to exist if there is to be love.

      Now, what do you tell someone going through a traumatic experience? Not these things, because that’s not the time to try to rationalize. It’s the time to be a shoulder to cry on and to be with those that are mourning. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways, so we can’t know exactly why everything happens. What we do know, is that we are called to be love and support for each other in the middle of tragedy.

      If we believe that God is powerful enough that he should be able to stop all of this evil, then we have to also accept that he is powerful or knowledgeable enough to have a reason to let it continue. We can’t have it both ways. If you put your nose up to a mural it looks blurry, it’s only when we back away that we see the true picture come into focus.

      Those are a few thoughts, feel free to dialogue, hope it helped

      • Heartbroken

        Wow, Brian I was reading Charles questions feeling some thoughts to share,but then a read “just a few” of you helpful thoughts absolutely straight on the mark ! You have a lot of wisdom and a great gift for apologetics. I found them refreshing and TRUE . Can’t wait to read more.

  • Sharon Callon Schwartz

    I used to see God as an overseer with a bullhorn – shouting commands and yelling about love, but cracking the whip. Today, I see God as my hiking partner who points out beauty to enjoy and paths that I didn’t see; who challenges me to tackle steep paths and pulls me up over boulders I climb; who shares a water bottle and funny stories with me and others we encounter. Sometimes he forges ahead and sometimes he sends me forward while he tends to another hiker. Sometimes he asks me to help another hiker. But, I am not afraid now that he will abandon me.
    Thy will be done.

  • michelinebeattie

    Wow Eileen, how amazing is your story of God’s directing our lives. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kathleen

    Renessa, that was beautiful!
    God as an artist: His vision for us and Our trust in Him!
    Thank you!

  • A very important question!

  • MW

    To Angi-Baby: The Holy Trinity was always a mystery to me even after going to Catholic schools all my life. Your simple yet beautiful definition was so enlightening to me. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – one God. I am mother, grandmother and friend – yet one person. Thank you.

  • Jane

    Renessa’s words penetrated my soul. My father sexually and physically and emotionally assaulted me and my mother hated me for his attention (rather than protect me). Healing has come through a wonderful husband, a remarkable Catholic counselor and a fine priest/Spiritual Director, which are gifts from God. The words Renessa said which all three of the healers God has sent to me have also stated many times are, HE HAS YOUR BEST INTEREST AT HEART. I have struggled to trust in God’s, love, Jesus’ love and the Blessed Mother’s love. If I allow, by GOD’S GRACE, to let those words really permeate my soul, then I believe I can continue to heal, be the best version of myself, be the best wife, mother, sister, friend and daughter. Praise God for the BEST Lent EVER!!!

  • Adekemi Adebambo

    I see God as a loving father and master planner. He’s awesomeness is unfathomable. He is kind and his words are dependable. However, there are times he appears silent or taking too long in answering some of my prayers. Theres are times I have been through some forms of despair but in all I know that everything will work for my good.

  • Debra Burgower

    I see him as the greatest friend one can have. I talk to him and share everything within him and know that he will always love me, no matter what.

  • Maria Michelle Swing

    I too see God as the best parent ever and I really like the Good Shepherd analogy. There have been times when I have wandered away looking for direction, acceptance, independence and failed miserably. It is very comforting that the Good Shepherd leaves the flock and comes looking for you, sees how exhausted you are, lifts you up and carries you on his shoulders. He doesn’t say, “I told you so,” Or “that’s what you get for turning your back on me.” Nope, he just loves you and gives healing. He waits patiently for you to ask, “God, what do you think I should do?”

  • Carmen Daniels

    I see God as a great teacher, guiding me in the direction he wants my life to take. Like a good educator, he listens and adjusts my life to meet my needs, even when I feel like the changes weren’t necessary. I also look at God as my teacher because he pushes me to become more than I ever thought possible.

  • Gene Tye

    I see God as my conscience… coaching, proding, reminding me to be the best version of myself.

  • Linda

    I lost my mother to leukemia when I was 4 years old. At the age of 40, after years of depression and never feeling loved, I cried out to God to show me what it feels like to be loved, to know the kind of love that only a mother has for her child. I asked God to be my mother. At that instant, I was filled, and overflowing, with love, joy, and peace. I felt a wholeness and completeness that I had never had before. The next day, in my Bible reading (reading through the book of Isaiah) I came upon Isaiah 66:13 “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you…” Again I felt that rush of love flow through me. This was my first experience with knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is real, He hears our prayers and He loves us deeply.

    • Patricia

      BEAUTIFUL

    • Heartbroken

      That was a beautiful gift to share I actually felt it as I read it . I am so happy for you thank you for answering the question with such visible and feel able reality.

  • Norma Van Amberg

    I see God as the Spirit that Jesus promised would be with us when He left this world. God is the inner voice I hear when I pray, the sudden clarifying answer to my decision making when I am in the shower. The peace I experience when I am outdoors in nature, the omnipresent One.

  • Diana

    Please go see the movie The Shack. It is about this very thing. I really don’t know how people get through a death without a belief or relationship with God. I am so glad I have a loving relationship with my God. God bless you all.

  • Joan

    I see God as a loving parent and how it hurts him when we go astray. When a child of mine was making bad choices and I was at my lowest with her, I screamed,” Why are you doing this, Please God help her choose differently cause I’m hurting so bad.” At that moment I realized that is what God feels when we sin. He has done “Everything” (dying on the cross) and we still choose to sin, BUT he still loves us, as I still loved her!!

  • Danielle Jewell

    I Love-Love-Love the words of Renessa Foronda as I Love Art! Thank you! It is what I needed to hear today. Right now I am hoping that God is going to lead me to a position of an elementary art teacher. God is good, trust in the Lord and he will provide.

  • Crystal Dasburg Marchand

    This is an interesting topic for me to ponder because I’m trying to change my view of God. For a very long time, I’ve seen God as all powerful, all-knowing, and loving, but also unpredictable with the ability to be a vengeful and wrathful God. Because of that view, I’ve lived with the thought, “things are too good right now. When or what’s God going to do to test me or shake things up?” I want to always trust that He has my best interest at heart, but I have a hard time fully letting go. It’s very scary for me to do that. For the first 10 years of my life, I was abused and bounced from foster home to foster home and it seemed like when things finally settled and I was happy, I’d move again. It’s been a real stretch to heal from that, but hopefully I’ll get there someday.

  • N Courie

    Thy will be done! I never really accepted that until, well until I realized I may never be a grandmother. I cried a bit, and then I prayed a bit, and looked up to the sky and said you said to pray and ask, so I am asking for grandchildren, but Lord, you know best, thy will be done. I was at peace. It is the first time in my life that I said those word and truly meant them. What a powerful release, and relief to know that I don’t have to worry, I don’t have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, I just need to follow what he asks, and His will be done. Try it at the next problem you have, an argument, or confrontation at work, let it go and say in your mind, thy will be done. It is liberating. We can help those who suffer insurrection, massive destruction, etc., but only if we help ourselves to be his tools, his arms, his feet, his eyes in the world, only after we say “Thy will be done.”

  • Donna Adams

    After reading several comments I realized how I see God. I see God in the trinity this way. God is at the top with his unending love. God gives me this eternal love every minute of the day. Jesus puts love in everyone else’s heart which in turn gives me their love. Lastly, the Holy Spirit which is love that God puts in my heart for me to give to everyone. LOVE LOVE LOVE. That is how I see God. That is what fills me everyday, even in dark times.

  • Julie A Nelkie

    God is the father of whom we seek to be with for now and eternity. He sent his son, like us, to be with us, in space and time. To demonstrate how we are to live with one another for him. And left for us the Holy Spirit, his voice in our hearts that speaks his words to us. Our constant advisor if we are open to listen.

  • Marie Sharkey

    Pamela and AngiBaby, I have always been a very active Member of the Catholic church and the two of you just helped me gain a perspective that has alluded me all of my 48 years! So beautifully, powerfully, and memorably written. I am so grateful to you both!

  • Amy Reinhardt

    I see God as a consoler. I know that whenever I’m struggling with something, no one can comfort me better than He can. He knows exactly what it is I’m feeling and thinking. I don’t even have to express it into words for Him to know. Sometimes when I’m praying during times of struggle, I close my eyes and imagine Him wrapping His arms around me. If I really try I can almost feel the warmth of His embrace.

  • Prolifedem6M

    Two words came to mind. I see God as affirming. He sees the best in me and affirms it. He strengthens what needs strengthening.
    The second word is “partner.” I see myself as God’s partner. Yes, he is the stronger partner, but he deigns to partner with me as I seek to serve him. As my partner, he respects my input and my limitations. He is my leader. He gently suggests what should be done and what my part in it is. It is a richly rewarding partnership.

  • Tony Pantera

    My understanding of God is still as it was when I was a youth. God the powerful omnipotent creator who loves us and is patient with us. His mercy is boundless. We have but to use the free will he’s given us to choose to love Him, to strive to be a vehicle to do His works.

  • Kristie Paulin

    I see God as patient and gracious. I’ve made many mistakes or poor decisions, and yet, God always welcomes me back with open arms, whether that be through family or friends, or even through a stranger. God is my protector as I’ve been saved by Him during traumatic points in my life. He has a purpose for me, a purpose that I’ve yet to fulfill.
    God is my strength…in times where I’m almost hopeless & in my pit, He is there to lift me up, guide me even if it isn’t easy, He gives me strength to get through those challenges in life. He is loving, unconditionally.

  • Shimmer

    I see the triune God as Loving. Each person sharing its self emptying love to the Other and receiving the Love of the Other. (Kenosis). See Phillipians 2:5-11. Whenever we empty ourselves in true unselfish love for another we are participating in the flowing of the Love of the Father to the Son and the Son to the Spirit. We live the mind of Christ. It is good to have a strong image of God so long as we know that we cannot truly say what God is. We can only experience who God is through relationship. In other words God is ineffable.

  • Toni Duffy

    Yes but I lived though a time people did not love me. They say god loves. But if you don’t know love. Or the wrong kind of love. Every time I get close to someone they leave. Now I found a good guy who loves me. I am afraid I will have to give him up too.

    • Heartbroken

      Don’t be afraid! Ask out loud to the ONE TRUE LIVING GOD . HE is waiting for you to surrender to all He has planned for you. Look up Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11. See what he GOD, wants for you. If you ask him to show if it’s right for you He will. It’s a promise!!!!

      • Toni Duffy

        Some Sundays I don’t go to church especially if there will be a lot of families and kids. I just end up crying. And I don’t want them to see me cry. But I met this guy. He is so good to me. I have not been crying at church. Cause he is hope to me. But today I can’t stop crying.opening old wounds.

  • Peggy

    I see God as a protector. I strongly felt this when my great grandson was born prematurely. I knew God was protecting him just by how well Thomas did from day one. God wanted this little 2 lb 1 oz baby to be a part of our family and show us all just how beautiful Gos’s creations are. I am so blessed that God chose my family for Thomas to be a part of.

  • Ann Gauger

    Three years ago I was going through an incredibly painful time. MY youngest daughter was very ill. I could do nothing but beg God for help. He gave me this poem in response. This is how I try to see God.

    O Sacred Heart

    There is a place whose heart is fire,
    Where beats the lifeblood of us all.
    There lies the core of my desire,
    The destination of my soul.

    O Sacred Heart, I long for you!
    Within your wounds let me abide.
    There’s safety there, and treasure too
    For all those sheltered in your side.

    Most secret space, where all is known,
    The home that only dreams have seen,
    The flames that feed the fuel they burn,
    The fulcrum on which all things lean.

    O Sacred Heart, draw me apart,
    Within your wounds let me remain
    When I’m at rest within your heart,
    I am at peace again.

    The thorns that ring me all around
    Are but the instruments of love
    To keep me safe where I am found,
    The center of unbounded love.

    O Sacred Heart, draw me to you,
    Your precious wounds my saving grace.
    Refined through fire, in you made new,
    I find my home in that blest place.

    Oh blessed blow that brought me here,
    for medicine designed above.
    Without the spur of pain and fear
    I’ll never come to see your love.

    O Sacred Heart, no end is there
    To your forgiveness for our ills,
    No sin so great we need despair–
    Your Mercy’s wider, deeper still.

    So send me out to kindle fire,
    Wake suff’ring souls to your embrace,
    That they might find their hearts’ desire
    At home at last in this blessed place.

    My daughter is much better now, better than the doctor ever thought she would be. I still struggle though, and am trying to return to prayer after several months away. I think I am avoiding dealing with unresolved feelings from that time. I need to hear the poem’s message again.

    • Heartbroken

      Heartbroken
      That is beautiful I have incurable heart disease and a son I don’t won’t to leave, so I often place myself in His Sacred side and say Thy Will Be Done.

    • Dee

      That poem is beautiful – I’m going to save it to my computer. I think it would be helpful to read everyday. I’m so glad your daughter is well again – my youngest was very ill 7 years ago, and only recently have I seen true recovery near. The illness of our children is so hard to bear, isn’t it? But it gives us just a small idea of what it was like for Mary, our mother.

      • Ann Gauger

        Thanks, Dee. I should read it every day too! And I need to rely more on our Blessed Mother.

  • Barb

    I see God as my life-long companion. At the age of 67, I finally see Him as the One who will navigate my way if only I live His will.

  • KDB

    I do pray mainly to Jesus and I’m just learning to pray to the father however I’m reading the chapter Four Words and I’m not sure how we’re supposed to know what God says to our questions about how to decide what His will is

    • Lisa

      You can ask your question and then open the Bible at random. See if this is your answer. It may be a sentence or just one word that answers it or gets you thinking. God will work this way sometimes with beginners and continue this way until He decides you are ready to go on without this crutch.

  • Miguel BM

    I was so lucky as to feel God’s love for me. I never felt so loved in all my life. And I don’t have the need to feel loved again, the glass is overflowing. Once I felt that I couldn’t but adore, worship him to tears and love others. I can say God loves us more than a human parent can love any of us. He loves us infinitely, eternally, perfectly. No one can love us more or better than God, not even ourselves.

  • MT Antill

    I see God as loving, giving and kind but just. I see him as the author of my life. He knows the story and has laid it out for me discover.

  • Terry Ower

    How I see God changes over time. I still can’t describe how I see God because the more I read, study and discuss this with friends the more I realize that I can only see God in human terms. This means that I don’t see or know him at all, I think. Of one thing I am certain, and that is that if I don’t continue to seek, I will not find, so I will continue to seek to know Him.

  • Tony Fonseca

    Renessa described her image wonderfully, mine is similar, but it has taken me 76 years to get to where Renessa is now.

  • Fran

    Thank you, Renessa, for your beautiful description of your relationship with God. I listened to it twice and would love the transcript.

  • Carole Munne

    How I see God has evolved throughout my life. I use to see Him when I was a child mainly as the all mighty FATHER, the Creator, the One with the commandments, that was watching me all times to judge me. At certain point during my teenager days, I attended a retreat where I felt the power of the Holy Spirit inside me. I began a closer, deeper relationship with God and I felt more than ever His LOVE. Later in life, I started studying the scriptures and I felt Jesus more present than ever before guiding me every step of THE WAY. Recently I started a study based on the book of Fr. Gaitley “The One Thing Is Three” and I am experiencing the beautiful communion of the Trinity, connecting all the dots of the different ways that
    I have experienced God.

  • Maria

    OK. I feel very strongly, that I need to share a bit of my story, I had the feeling yesterday, but the resistance got the better part of me. Today is equally strong.
    Thy will be done! Words we pray every day and sometimes not realizing. 12 years ago my husband and my 4 kids ( age between 5 and 10 years old-yes no mistake:) were in a bad car axident. My husband died at the scene. My kids went to hospital with different injuries. My eight year old daughter was in coma. I was so sure, that God will heal her, did not care much what the doctor was saying. God can do miracles! Well, going on a third night doctor called me and told me that this is the last night and day. She left us on the third day-it was Sunday. Coming months and years I question my faith, never doubted God, but did question my faith-“if your faith was a size of a mustard seed”. I always thought my fait was quite strong. Question WHY-was on my heart for a few years. Eventually I gave that up thinking if it is not His will for me to know here, I will trust. About 5 years past and my friend was diagnose with a cancer. She believed very strongly that God will heal her. She got better for about a year and then sick again, but she would never give up on believing. It brought my old question and my doubt back. Did I give up too quick? Was my faith not strong enough? One day as I was just driving around not even thinking about it, it came to me – out of nowhere :”You gave me your FIAT!” This was it.This was my unsver! You see the last night with my daughter in the hospital I spent the night with her in prayer and I felt very strongly that I need to say my FIAT to the Lord and I did. Kneeling beside her on the bed I said to Him-Your will be done!
    I had the answer this whole time…. What is God for me? He is my refuge, my Rock, my comforter my only Hope my destiny. He cerrys me when I can’t walk, He gives me joy and peace when everything around me is falling down. I would be lost and hoplles without Him.
    If anybody is reading this and feels like this was a bit of help in your Journey thank God!
    It is only through the Holy Spirit I got nothing to do with that. I am so not good in writing and my English is not the best either (as you can see:), but that’s OK- becouse it is Him we need to thank for Everything!
    God bless you all and thank you all for your inspiring words and sharing! Keep up the good fight. Your little sister in Christ

    • KateM

      God bless you Maria. Thank you for sharing your story. It touched my heart.

      • Maria

        Thank you Kate! God bless you!

  • Tracy Barry

    I picture that God is bigger than the universe and holds EVERYTHING up and displays himself through the image of Jesus and surrounds us with the Holy Spirit which pours out of him in a constant surrounding of the universe, all of us. When I get in my car I can picture Jesus and Mary sitting in the car with me sometimes I look at them and say are we ready? I know that sounds weird but it’s true and I feel like there is a bubble around me that is God and I Picture angels as the Holy Spirit on each side of my windshield. I always pray for a safe journey and can see and feel them there.

  • Marta

    I see God as distant. I see him busy with bigger concerns than my little, insignificant life. I see him delegating the little details to his son, Jesus and Jesus’s mother, Mary. So, my view of Jesus and Mary is very different from that of God’s. I feel they are approachable, while I couldn’t stand in the presence of God and petition him to help me or have pity on me..

  • Michele McPheely

    Renessa, it was neat for me to hear you describe God as an artist, because I call Him the master artist all the time. Everything He has made is so unique, beautiful and good. Sometimes, as I always did when I was a kid, I picture God up in the clouds looking down on us, sometimes shaking His head, crying, or smiling- laughing good naturedly. But now, I often see Him in others. In acts of kindness, love and in words.

    I look forward to when I become a parents some day, God willing, because then I feel like I will know His unconditional love more closely.

  • Leah Levitt

    I had an unfortunate experience with my image of God. My Greatgrandmother would haul me off to church when I was really young. It was two hours of fire and brimstone, we were all sinners and were going to Hell if we did anything wrong, God as a tyrant. I spent a lot of time believing very few people were going to make it into Heaven. It is really nice that I now know God is a loving, forgiving and just God. I like the idea of relationship, God is my Father, Mary my Mother and Jesus is my brother.

  • Michael Ennis

    I also read the shack and thought it did a wonderful job of portraying the trinity. I lent it to a security guard at work, but she was reassigned before she could get it back to me, and I called her boss and left her a message to keep it, ot give it to someone else to read, and I replaced my copy. The one time I remember getting ‘mad’ at God was when my younger brother died. I was not the angel I could have been, and it seemed to be extremely unfair that he should die and I should live after the way I lived my life. Eventually, I ‘forgave’ God and started to pray and attend Mass again.
    God Bless

  • Tom Feidt

    This is a poem I wrote, It helps with my relationship with God.
    “The One Thing”
    Your soul, a dwelling place for God, allows God’s will to be done on earth through your service.
    One body through a lifetime will encounter many experiences.
    Precious things we base on scarcity, become highly coveted.
    Although there are many souls, we only posses one. This is our eternal jewel throughout eternity. As precious to you as it is to God.
    So only God can posses the precious jewel of your soul. You should know it is your gift to God. It is all you have.
    The lost soul, God wants it to be found. Only you can make it a dwelling place for God so it can be saved.

  • Mary Ruffcorn

    I like your vision of God Renessa. I see God as my Father and my Creator. Being that I am his child and but a creature, I must trust that He knows better than me. Your vision fleshes out my vision nicely. I am always asking for grace to be a better version of myself and trusting that I have a Fathers Love and forgiveness when I fall short.

  • Genie C Balantac

    … I also see God as an Artist in my life + in the world around me!

  • Babciamel

    As a child, I saw God as One who judged everything I did. I was enrolled in a public school (or a “pagan” school, as the nuns would say) and attended religion classes on Tuesday afternoons. I was always drawn to God for as long as I can remember; and always did well in religion class. I looked up to my sister, who is 6 years older, and I followed her example, beginning in 4th or 5th grade, by attended morning mass every day during lent. As you might imagine, the nuns were astounded at this. At that time, the whole parish school attended mass every morning, but I was the only public school child that did so. I wanted to go to our parish school, but our family was poor and my father attended catholic school when he was a child and absolutely hated it. I continued my Lenten practice through high school; but I still saw God with his “Big book of names,” that the nuns had spoken about, that I imagined was like a ledger. A check mark in the right hand column for good deeds and one in the left for a sin committed. That was pretty much how the nuns explained it; or at least that is what I inferred from what they said. As a teen, I really didn’t think much about it either way. I just accepted as I was told. I can still recite, almost verbatim, some of the answers in the Baltimore Catechism that we used in the primary grades. As I grew into adulthood, I feared that I had far more check marks in the left hand column. After a terrible break up with the love of my life, I was left devastated. In retrospect, I think I may have had a breakdown. It was then that the “Renew” program began, and I signed up to be in a small group. I was amazed at the story of faith that the moderator lived. I had known her for some time as she was the principal at my children’s primary school. I turned to God for help and comfort, but cried every day for about three years. When my children started religious ed., I found that they were learning about a very different God. He was a God of love, compassion and forgiveness. It was very hard for me to accept that they had no “rote” answers to basic questions, and were not taught any prayers other than what I taught them at home. I began to search for answers to this new God. I became a member of a charismatic prayer group, and was set on fire for the glory of God. I participated in many local enrichment events presented by visiting priests, and my faith grew to a whole new level. I now learned to see Him as my loving Heavenly Father. In times of distress, if I close my eyes and meditate on the goodness of the Lord and his love for me, I can feel His arms around me. Sometimes this contemplative form of payer has me picturing myself being cradled in His arms and being rocked as a small child is rocked to be comforted. Most times, I find myself actually rocking back and forth. Recently, I have strayed from weekly mass, but am not sure why. Part of my Bi-Polar condition is self isolation and it is often very hard for me to leave my home. Sometimes I cannot motivate to do anything but aimlessly play solitaire on the computer for hours and hours. When I do go to mass, I always leave feeling refreshed and renewed. I haven’t been praying daily either. Yet, I still believe with all my heart, that God is ever at my side, understanding what I cannot and my emotional suffering. I truly believe He forgives me. For Lent, I decided to make mass every Sunday and try to make Eucharistic adoration on Thursdays at my parish. I missed mass the very first Sunday as well as adoration. Instead of giving up, I am determined to make mass this coming weekend, though am not feeling that I will make adoration today. I view this program as my daily prayer time, and am praying, even as I type, that it will help me to get back to where I once belonged…to where I know I belong.
    Heavenly Father, please help Your prodigal daughter return to Your loving arms, once again..

    • Maureen Daniels Ceglia

      Babcielmel I feel like you told my story. Thank your for your sharing.

      • Babciamel

        Thank you for your comment. I thought I was rather rambling, but couldn’t seem to stop myself; so I decided it was God’s will to put it all out there. It is wonderful and affirming to see I have company.

  • Kathy

    How do I see God? A very powerful question! I was a very sick little girl at 14months . My parents almost lost me . To this day, God has been in my life for as long as I can remember in one form or another. I was a widow at age 50 with a teenage boy to raise. My Mom had a stroke 4years ago. Now I care for my parents who are in their late 80’s. My son is happily married living a plane ride away from home. I can still remember thinking why am I still here. What am I meant to do? God’s will as long as He helps lead the way!

  • Cheryl Diamond

    God came much closer to my heart, when I was going through a marriage separation. I remember feeling very alone, and being very emotional. I was home alone, and I felt as if my heart was breaking, so I gave those feelings to the Lord, and asked for help, because I felt like I could not go on any further. Ten to fifteen minutes after speaking to the Lord, the telephone rang, and my husband wanted to come by the house to talk about getting back together. Psalm: 138 is very special to me. “On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.” I hear it in church and tears come to my eyes.

    Ever since that time, I am very aware of the Lord living through me, each and everyday. I am so grateful he called me into his life. He has been calling me for many years, and I finally listened and accepted his invitation. My life changed from that day on. There are no words to thank him for his blessing. It was the greatest gift I have ever received in my life.

  • roniquebreauxjordan

    …definitely, not negative…even when bad things happen…and definitely, from Confirmation onward…a more adult image of what should be …it’s really been finding those who honestly share the same value system without an ulterior motive…that’s tough, but not impossible. Being a parent increases your diligence…

  • Joyce W.

    Intellectually I see God totally as a loving Father, loving unconditionally, but part of me sees Him differently and I want to run away! So when it comes to answering questions in books designed to draw me closer to Him, I usually don’t know where to start. Nevertheless I was drawn to our Faith because of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and I love to go to Sunday Mass, and other times if possible. I never realized how much the Real Presence meant to me until one particular day of Adoration I went and for some reason, because of a funeral earlier, the Monstrance was not in place. Although I knew Jesus was still present in the Tabernacle, I wept at the sight of the bare altar! I cannot imagine life without God, and despite the fact that I am sometimes “running scared” at getting closer to Him, I trust Him.

  • MaryAnne Casaul

    Father, friend, creator, counselor, confident, awesome, majestic, loving, constant, loyal,forgiving, understanding. I could go on and on. I cannot really put it all into words.

  • Renee Gomendi

    I’m looking for an earlier post where someone shared their daily prayer in the form of a poem. I have looked back and can’t find it. I wanted to share it with my family. Can anyone help me with this? Thank you very much.

    • Karen LaFave

      I think I found it cause I was also looking for it. It was posted on March 8, Day 7 of best lent ever in the video by Sue Zdinak. The prayer was written by Karen ( also my name) it said 2 days ago.It starts out”As I start my day I pray..”As another reader suggested I copied and pasted it into an email and sent it to myself.I lost my 7 year old grandson to brain cancer 2 years ago.Hugs to you.

      • Renee Gomendi

        Thank you Karen. That is the one I was looking for. I appreciate you taking the time to do this for me.

        • Karen LaFave

          You are welcome. Glad to help. I have a daughter named Renee. I must admit it is hard to find a previous post on here.

  • Thomas Goodman

    I see God inside of me and others. The Spirit of Jesus and the Father came to earth after Jesus physically left us.
    He gladly lived in every plant and animal as they were doing exactly what He created them to do. Then He saw man. He saw that we were not doing His will, but He decided to live within every person to help us clean out the hurt, the anger the revenge, the greed, the doubt and the indifference. The Spirit of Jesus and the Father is my life. He loves me dearly, lives within me and works through me. Through Him in me, the blind see, the lame walk and the dead come back to life. However, I know that He does not do these wonderful things through me, with me and in me, anymore than He does them for you! We are His children learning to walk with Him and like us, He does not count the times we fall down, but rejoices in how many times we get back up!

  • Trevor Pelkey

    I see God in the love that the people of this world share and in every complex and simple pattern we have and have not observed. I see him as one that is truly beautiful and more ubiquitous than we could ever imagine.

  • Mary Stoa

    I really felt God touch me when I was diagnosed with Cancer and I had to leave everything in Gods most capable hands, I truly had to say Thy will be done. At this time I felt so in tune with God and a tremendous peace came over me and I truly felt that God was telling me to not be afraid and let him take all the worry and fear away from me. Truly a beautiful time to experience Gods love and peace.

    • Therese Pribil Sprinkle

      I felt the same way years when I too had cancer. It is a peace that I can’t explain.

      • Mary Stoa

        Thank you for sharing, I am sure you will agree that you grew in your faith and you came to a deeper love of our Father!

        • Therese Pribil Sprinkle

          Yes I have grown in my faith since then.

  • Therese Pribil Sprinkle

    God is the one who directs me in everyone that I do. From making greeting cards, prayer and anything else that HE wants me to do. I put my full trust in God.

  • Theresa Birdsey

    Jane
    I see God as a friend that is always there in good times and bad. My best vision of God is within the face of my daughter, the eyes of my mother and the innocence of a little child.

  • Linda

    What exactly does thy will be done mean? Is it I accept what has happened?

  • Marianne Sanders

    I grew up thinking of God as this judge who was angry, unforgiving and saw me as a sinner. I never really got the concept of a Loving God until I experienced the Charismatic renewal and the power and love of the Holy Spirit who Jesus left us when he died and went to heaven. God is a God of unconditional love and nothing, nothing can separate us from His Love.

  • LosmanPO

    I see God in so many different ways, all positive. In prayer, I see him as my best friend because it allows me to talk with Him one on one, making my relationship deeper and more personal. He is my confidant, redeemer, savior, and my comforter. He is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Most importantly, he was, is and always will be present and alongside me in this journey.

  • Rae Mims

    I guess I see God as a guide. He already knows my story and my life from the time I was born. I have to trust and believe in Him and His promises in the Word so that I can get to where I need to go. He has a plan for me. I truly believe that. At one time, I didn’t think that and I thought I was by accident. There has always been this pull that He created me to do something. I have no clue what that is but if I follow it will come to past. I have already seen that happen in little ways. I remember I wanted a new job and I kept sending out resumes and doing interviews and getting frustrated. Finally, I realized in my spirit He was telling me to take my hands off of it. That was the hardest thing for me to do – nothing. But, I did. I was offered a job without asking and without an interview. It was purely God and I give him all the glory. I also see him as a Father. Who loves me, wants the best for me, gets frustrated and defeated by me. Just like my earthly father.

  • Donna Hebdo

    Forgiveness, Mercy, Peace, and most of all, LOVE!

  • Maria Solito

    I see God as my Father.
    My evolving relationship with God from childhood to adulthood was very similar to my evolving relationship with my father growing up. In the beginning, I feared his anger so I avoided bad things, then I did good things to please him, then I did the right things because I love him and wanted him happy with me, then I realized that his love for me is so great that I trusted him more than I trusted myself so I sought his advise a lot. God is my Love and His love for me is the greatest of all love that I trust Him with my life and with my heart. Though at times my mind or logic couldn’t comprehend and complain, trusting His will had always turned out in the end to be the better choice for me. Thank you Lord!

  • Toni Shea

    Very Powerful!! How blessed we are to have Matthew Kelly & others that God puts in our path. As a child I saw God as external, I went to church and catechism and could recite by rote the material. All very sterile, and guided by fear. A dear friend Sarah brought me to Bible Study Fellowship, an international Bible Study based in Texas. I had never read the Bible and couldn’t even find the information I needed to do my homework, as I couldn’t navigate the Bible. My study leader was one of the kindest most patient women and took me step by step, lesson by lesson to a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus. My life has never been the same. We are studying John and often in our study the homework asks us to list the qualities we have learned about Jesus in the weeks study. It is amazing by reading HIs word how I have come to see Him as the most loving, caring, kind, considerate, thoughtful, committed, obedient, truthful and trustworthy person I could go on and on, but I think you get the message. I also have come to realize this wonderful gift of faith is a gift from God. I did not come upon it by my free will ……………but by HIs will. Thy Will be done. God Bless and thank you fellow Catholic’s and Matthew Kelly for this wonderful forum.

  • lizmvr

    I wrote in my journal already today–usually I do that after I post. Anyway, I do know that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent; those are traits I know I learned in Catholic school. On a more personal level, I have thought of God more as a family member over the past decade. Sometimes He seems more like a parent, and sometimes I think the love that I should have for a future husband is like the love that He has for me, a committed love that bears faults I have and still encourages me to be the best me I can be. Honestly, I probably get Him as a family member from contemporary Christian songs–that might not be the best place to learn about Him, I’ll admit 🙂

  • Sharon Hawkins

    God is my father and he wants what is best for me, her accepts me where I am and is proud of my accomplishments and encourages me to use my talents to love and serve him and others. God always surprises me in the way her answers my prayers, he has a great imagination and sense of humor. I cannot live without the love of God in my life and in turn he has given me family and friends to share my love with!

  • Barbara

    I see God as a wise and wonderful father who guides me when I am lost. He is forgiving, understanding,gentle but a strong force in my daily life. He picks me up and dusts me off when I stumble and fall, He calmly reminds that I am not alone. My favorite Psalm (Psalm. 23) says it best: “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters, He leads me in right paths for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. . . . . . Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord all the day of my life.” He always makes His presence known when I am frightened or anxious. I just need to listen.

    • Becky Craig

      Barbara, I couldn’t have said it better! Thank you

  • Kare

    My view of God is as a loving father who only wants the best for me and all his children. So why then did he take my husband at a young age and left me alone to raise three children? Why is my life so difficult and stressful? Why does the hurt not go away? I try to accept “thy will be done” and have faith that for some crazy reason, this is the life God wants for me, but I am so angry and resentful…like the lady said in the video, I know I only have one piece of the puzzle but I just can’t stop asking Why?? and I get no answer….

    • Linda Carmelle

      I ask God “Why” often too……..for me I think He says I’m with you through it all. I think God doesn’t want any of those negative experiences to happen to us,I think its just evil still left in our world.I wish I had a better answer. I will pray for your family though.

  • Mark Darrow

    Kind, Forgiving and Merciful. Always present, never turning away from my needs. Allowing me to exercise my free will, knowing I may not always align with His will. Gently welcoming me back when I stray but always providing the guidance I need to become the best I can be. I always smile as I say these four words.

  • Lorraine Walsh Seewagen

    Renessa’s description of how she sees God was so lovely that it almost made me cry…He is the greatest artist/creator…thank you!

  • Karen

    I see God as my everything. He has given me so much, from my mom and dad and brother, to husband, 2 daughters and the best grandchildren! Because me #1 strength is WOO, I have the best church lady friends in the world! They help keep me grounded and so full of love. God has put so many wonderful people in my life and I pray that I maybe able to good to others through God’s love!

  • Mary Mary

    I view God is simply Papa

  • “Thy will be done”. Perhaps the words that lead to so much resistance. As it means giving up some power and control.

  • Adriana

    When i became a mom my faith got stronger and I felt God so much closer to me. My kids are in college now and when they come home i feel very happy and full of joy. The experience of unconditional love is priceless

  • Elizabeth Riley

    I guess I see God as a loving father who cares for my best interests even if I don’t see them right away. He is one who will never forsake or abandon you even if you are at your lowest. As a kid you always want your parents to be there and to know that they will never abandon you. God is that and so much more.

  • F

    For 18 years I have prayed for my daughter’s healing. God seems to have other plans. Sometimes it is hard not to feel desolation.

  • Diane Long Madison

    My understanding of love came from being loved by my selfless parents and my 11 siblings(born in 14 years and 4 months) Being the oldest girl I was ready, willing and able to serve without even knowing God’s teachings. When learning what He did for me as I was being prepared to receive Him for the first time, I was in disbelief anyone would do that for me. I was then confirmed in fifth grade and felt His clothing of me in His gifts especially after studying the lives of many saints before we chose one for ourselves. He also has blessed me with 12 of my own children. Carrying the many crosses that come with being faithful is probably where/how I feel His presence most.

  • Mari

    Wow this is a very good topic. I see God as my father. My father past away when I was very young. I grew not knowing what a father figure was like. When I turned to the Lord, I realized God, is my spiritual Father. I look up to him for advice and trust that he knows me better than I know myself. At times, it takes several intents in silence to really hear his message. However, I continue to believe and pray that he will always guide me in the best direction. I surrender. He will open doors and close other ones. If one door closes, it is not a loss, it is a liberation. A liberation from a path that was not intended for God will in my life. Overall, I see God as my father. Amen.

  • Cindy Leslie

    When I was a child, I thought God loved His children and that His mother who God gave us was one of God’s loving gifts to His children. As I got older I thought that he was a punishing God, an angry God and so I felt scared of Him. However, today I know differently. God loves us very much and if we just trust and pray to Him everyday, He will show us the way…and that is His mercy and love.

  • Helen

    I see God as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit whom I cannot live without. I need him every second, every minute, every hour, every day. I need God spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally 100% of the time! For without God, I am nothing. I cannot function without him in my life. I survive only because of his merciful forgiveness of my sins. In Him and only Him, I can grow in love, peace, happiness, forgiveness, faith, and hope!!

  • Maria

    I don’t know when I ever haven’t trusted God. He’s always been there for me. My mantras always been, It is what it is and THY will be done. In my lifetime I have learned that all things happen for a reason. It’s that simple and the complex. God bless.

  • Misha

    Thy will be done is a beautiful song…..that I first heard right when I needed it the most ❤️

  • Mich Smi

    that was so beautiful what she said, I second that emotion!

  • Mich Smi

    I did a little online research on the etymology of the word “pray”… it can be used in different ways… in the old days they’d say things to people like “pray tell me” (so it takes the place of the word “please”, basically) it’s an entreaty, asking, a way to communicate, even though the other person we’re talking to is not God…I also am sensitive to the lines on holy cards or webpages I could share on facebook — that say “prayer TO” Mary or a saint etc. because I’m afraid other non-Catholic friends won’t understand and it’ll hinder them from getting to know our faith… i’ll still “pray” it, but I always keep in mind that I’m asking for prayers from them to God; if we’re submitting a prayer to someone besides God, then really it’s a prayer REQUEST we’re asking them to pray to God for us about… even in the Hail Mary, we’re asking her to intercede/pray for us: “pray for us sinners, now & at the hour of our death…” (the first part being biblical phrases of praise to the Mother of God for her role, that is honorable to repeat because it glorifies Jesus — who is the fruit of her womb)…

  • Carmen M Ferrer

    God is love and patient!

  • klohry

    What was my image of God at age 5? At age 15? I simply don’t remember. That was decades ago…

  • Nicole M.

    I see God as all powerful, all knowing, a healer, a creator, he makes me feel safe and loved, and above all I know I can trust him and I see him as my friend.

  • Mary Tady

    I see God as a loving Father, my provider, my savior who will give up His life because of His love for me. There are times, when I do see Him as a Father who disciplines, who molds me, protect me from evil, and demands as a good parent, to reach for my goal , to share my talent, to be the best that I can be.

  • Debra Kyser

    i see God acting as the father, the son and the holy spirit in my life. As I age and grow in my faith I grow to love him more and see his love at work in my life. When I became a grandparent I saw God in a new way and wish I would of seen it more as my children were growing up. There was too much going on with my husband’s health and anger issues, I could not see God working as much then as I do.

  • jackie shoemaker

    My life became filled when I placed my whole self in his hands.

  • dianne

    I see God as a loving father who loves me unconditionally. I see God as a forgiving and accepting God, who welcomes us all into his loving embrace. He is like a warm embrace that makes me feel safe and at home. I see him through my parents, they loved God with alll their hearts and taught me how to see God, through their eyes.

  • Lourdes Ballara

    When I was a girl I saw God as all loving; as the years went by I started to see Him as all merciful as well; now that I am approaching my old age I also see Him as all justice. I think these are the three most important qualities of God for me.

  • Larry Dunleavy

    So as I was reflecting “what is my image of God”? The first thing that came to my mind is the picture that is on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel of an old man reaching out to touch Adam. Beautiful as that is I know that image is not big enough. Then I tried to picture him as something larger than the universe, behind it encompassing it.
    I see God as the ultimate source of love, beauty , strength and goodness. In Christ these qualities are confined to a human being that teaches us what mercy, compassion, healing, love forgiveness, humility and a beautiful inner spirit look like. Then I reflect on the Holy Spirit and how He has moved powerfully from the beginning to give live, inspire action and amazing writings of the scriptures and Saints, emboldened the Apostles at Pentecost and

  • Scott Sowers

    I see God as the Father and Mary as the Mother. As I am a father I understand God’s love for me and as I see my wife, I see the love of Mary for us. When we pass away, we as the father or mother once again become the son and daughter and our children become the father and the daughter. God ensures the circle of life. To believe and follow God’s word teaches us love and meaning to our lives. Those who do not believe, have no meaning, so they are lost until they see the light.

  • RD

    I am still seeing God in new and deeper ways. Recently, I am being touched by his gentleness and wondering if He even has a type of vulnerability through the choice of His passion. This seems to be conflicting with some of my other images of a just judge and also a God who challenges us–sometimes in ways that I have felt is too hard. I am starting to think that my images of justice and requests for sacrifice are not full truth. I need to work out these images with these newer ideas (for me) of God’s primary gentleness, and sharing in ALL that is hard and sad for me. I do know that God’s goal is salvation. Salvation for all of us; and I want to be part of that goal, that will. Jesus, thy will be done–bring the whole world Your salvation and help me to see my place in that. Help me to live out my place in that with all my heart and understanding. Amen

  • Stacey Symonds

    I’ve had a lot of different perspectives throughout my life about God…I’ve always questioned and wondered the mystery of faith…when I had my children, they were a gift from God and they were the reason I started to really opened my eyes, ears, and heart to God…as I got older, my journey broadened and I converted my religion to being a Catholic…I still own confusion of God’s ways and wonders, but I pray to him everyday, I try to pass it forward and I am learning to trust him more with faith and hope…I don’t think any of us have the perfect relationship with God, but as long as we talk and pray to him everyday, be the best person we can be, and cherish the gifts he gives us, we are on our way…….

  • LJ

    Throughout salvation history He is the big guy in the sky. Just past the Jordan, when Jesus said: He is the sheep gate and all who come before are thieves. That means, I dare say that you had better trust and that means priest, prophet, sage,, indigent, whatever you call yourself. The nice part of being known is people approval. To fight for a cause, loyalty is needed.

  • Ray

    A beautiful image. I have to think about it more. Thanks.

  • Tom K

    I think Renessa has a “beautiful way” to see God. I see him more as separate from me as the character in the bible we are taught. Not as a true part(ner) of me. Looking at him that way may help me personalize him so much more giving me that type of relationship that allows for growth and development with(in) him.

  • Gina

    For years I saw God as the “person” that is allowing all the ugliness to happen in my home and in the world. Yet I yearned to be close to him. I chased him from church to church. Despite having a very close friend who is a priest- I only saw the bad in the Catholic Church so I left and became Pentecostal. I was sure God was calling me there. I was sure this is what he called me to do. These people surely are holy not like those hypocrite Catholics. I was wrong. Thy will was really my will. I did not surrender to him I tried to be in control. I’ve always been a control freak. Needless to say God allowed things to unfold, I stayed in that cult like situation for over 3 years. It took me 10 years to reprogram my mind and step back into a church – Any Church ! Through prayer, spiritual direction and a deep desire to be close to God and really know him, I’m back in the Catholic Church on fire living my life for God. I’m married to the man God created for me , my oldest son is a true man of God, we adopted a child from foster care who lived with drug addicted parents we got her baptized and she is receiving communion in June , we are feeding hungry, giving to the the poor, doing animal rescue, WE ARE A FAMILY DEDICATED TO THE LORD AND HIS WILL FOR OUR LIVES ! When we struggle we pray the rosary together, when we fall we lean on the cross to get back up when we feel empty and feel like we are failing we help each other reach for the word of God to fill us. Each day we die to live in him !!!
    I now see God as my merciful Savior My redeemer My Father who loved me so much that he suffered horribly until he died so that I will have eternal life in heaven. I no longer run in circles searching for God trying to figure everything out constantly wondering why this why that. The ironic part is that LIVING FOR GOD TRUSTING IN HIS PERFECT PLAN FOR MY LIFE LIVING BY HIS WORD – IS ACTUALLY EASIER THAN LIVING IN THE WORLD ! Sounds crazy I know. But when I have to do it all and make all the decisions and chase happiness in worldly things I’m always unhappy !!! My 27 year old son once told me “mom why do you make life so hard. It’s not. If God says don’t do it just don’t do it ! That’s what I do and I have a great life ” People believe me it’s that easy !!!
    I still don’t always understand his way and my flesh often fights him and the devil tries to shake me but now Because I see God differently I am able to have a close relationship with Jesus and I trust him so I put on my armour send the devil packing and I have peace and unspeakable joy !
    Sorry this was so long ! Lol
    In his service,
    Gina

  • David Schwier

    i heard two quotes that apply here. one is “who walks away from Jesus because of Judas?!” he other is like it. If your faith in God is shaken by what others do, your faith was not in God, but in man.”

  • Sarah Rohrabaugh

    I loved the way Renessa sees God, as a co-collaborator in life. She put in such a cool way.
    I see God as an every loving father. I am in awe of his love and mercy for his children. It makes me feel so grateful, safe, and loved. Knowing that he is there for me through every part of life, brings me peace at heart.

  • Tom Burke

    An excellent book explaining an all loving God and not a tyrannical God can be found in a book called “Where the hell is God” by Richard Leonard S.J. I highly recommend it. You can also get the audiobook.

  • Julie Welling

    I see God as my Savior. I been visiting my daughter at college for the weekend and when it was time for me to leave I was so sleepy. I called my husband and we talked to see if that would help. Then I got off the highway and walked around for a bit and got a large cup of ice chips to suck on to keep me awake. I got back on the road, windows down listening to comedians CDs and eating ice. The next thing I saw was a large white cloudy looking coming down from the heavens moving all the cars in front of me to the side lanes. That left me with 4 open lanes of highway to myself. I was onI-10 in Houston, very busy interstate in Texas. I woke up immediately. I don’t know how long I had been asleep. But on that night God’s will was done and Jeseus was my savior and my hero. I’ve never gotten beehintthe wheel of a car slpeepy since then. And I know God expects something from me because he saved my life and who knows how many others? I’m forever doing his will in prayer and always thanking him!

  • Kitty

    I agree with the posts that say their love of God became clearer when they became a parent. There is nothing more unconditional than the love of a parent for a child. I think the time I experienced the four words “Thy Will Be Done” was when my father lay dying in the hospital. He had had a bad stroke and was just hanging on to life. I said those four words to God because I knew he knew what was best for my father.

  • Brooke DeLong

    One of my best examples of “How do I see God” and one that I refer to often in my life was a story that did not even happen to me, it happened to a friend of mine as we were teaching CCD at our church. She had a young class (all under five) and they were drawing pictures during a break. One of them came up to her and asked, “I would like to draw a picture of God. What does he look like?” My friend truly did not know how to answer. She took a moment, and then had a realization, which she shared with her young student – “Well, none of us truly know what God looks like, but God made everything, and therefore God is in anything and everything that we see everyday. So, anything that you draw will be drawing what God looks like.” It answers the question in the literal sense (what does God LOOK like?) but also in a much broader sense, because I feel that in realizing this it brings about the reminder that God IS everywhere and IN everything, and it is up to us to find God in all the places that we see everyday.

  • Christopher Jachulski

    Right now God is showing me the dross that needs to be burnt off, sloughed off, or thrown away during the is season of Lent. For me right now He is a refining fire. It’s not easy but I didn’t expect it would be. I was just told by a Methodist that I need to control my anger when I tell him how great the Catholic Church is. I was very humbled, and he is right. That’s all for now. Peace be with you all.

  • Debbie S

    Renness,
    Your image of God and your trust in Him is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!💕

  • Linda Blessing

    I see God as someone who is there for me. A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with a disease that, while not fatal, could affect my speech and for me — I love to talk. It also affected my eyes. I was scared to death which made everything worse. And then I adopted “Thy Will Be Done” or “Jesus, take over” as a sort of mantra. It changed my life. I started going to mass more often, volunteering more often, reading Rediscovering Jesus and other books and not dwelling on myself so much. So, God is there for me. He knows what I need and if it isn’t what I want, he’ll help me to adjust. I’m so thankful for what he has given me and I know that he’ll be with me for whatever comes next.

  • Joan andrews

    I I see God most days as a friend and teacher who I turn to and thank daily for being on this journey with me
    I tell him that without him I am nothing, with him I am everything.
    Through a divine mercy prayer group, I have become closer to him, he is constantly revealing himself in so many ways in my daily life

  • Kathy

    When reading some of the comments about parents who raised their children in the Catholic faith being brokenhearted that their adult children now do not worship in a Catholic Church, I am perplexed. Is it acceptable to you that your children have a faith in the Triune God and worship in non Catholic Churches? Do they have to remain Catholics for life? Isn’t it ok for them to praise and worship God in other churches? When we die and go to Heaven, we will all be together worshipping and praising our loving Father who gave his all for us. We will not be separated into groups based on our religious practices on earth. Just like everyone else in the world, our children and grandchildren have the free will to choose their parish and house of worship. I think it’s a wonderful blessing for them to have a deep faith and desire to worship and praise God! I’m sure God loves to receive their love, devotion, attention, songs, prayers and adoration no matter where they worship. We are told to “Remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy,”not “Remember the Sabbath only in Catholic Churches to keep it Holy.”

  • Shonne Farrell

    Kathy if we could be certain that our children are safe with God we wouldn’t be upset about them. Unfortunately we are afraid for their emortal souls. I pray for my children and my x daughter-in-law and her family regularly because I love them. I don’t have the answers only God does. However, I believe the Catholic Church. I believe in Jesus Christ is my Savior.

  • Joey

    I agree that God is like the artist and we are all pieces. We have to find where we belong in this world.

  • Kathy

    My image of God is one who takes care of us all. I can tell him my thoughts, hopes, desires, feelings, worries and feelings and also just think of him when I don’t have any words. He is taking care of me and my family and friends. I depend on God and say “thank god for God!”

  • Angela Young

    Videos stopped working or loading this week. Can’t watch anything.

  • JMulkey2009 .

    I don’t see God at all in anything of physical form. I see God as formless, being everywhere, part of everything. When I pray, if I want to pray to a physical bodily form, I pray to Christ, or I imagine Christ. I cannot get a ‘vision’ of God. When I was a child, I saw God as a Father, but that has changed as I have aged and changed. Makes prayer hard sometimes.

  • Annvan047

    I see God as my father, my parent, who loves me and unconditionally. He disciplines me when I disobey and he rewards me when I do well. I have no xperienced both. I fear him and trust he knows best what is good for me. All of my prayers include, “Your will, not mine.”

  • Neenu Tomi

    a person who loves me more than i could love my daughter ..
    a person who loves me more than anybody loves me…
    a super programmer who could fix all the error in mind …
    a very strict teacher whom i can only impress by giving best out of me ..
    a very patient , clam and kind father whom stand with me in all my weakness ..
    a very smart boss who knows all my strength , weakness and knows how to utilizes me ..
    a person who give me respect that anybody else in this world .. even if he had all privilege on me i feel he always wait for my response

  • Jo

    Thy will be done, not my will be done

  • Mary Brennan

    I see God Our Father as care taker, the gardener watching over me molding me into who he wants me to become , preparing me for his kingdom. I try to live in the Divine Will, 🙏Fiat

  • Harriett Thomas

    God is loving, forgiving, patient and he never gives up on me. He leads me and guides me in everything that I do and he has never left me alone.

  • Ginny

    God is my Father, loving unconditionally, forgiving always and rejoicing in my faith journey. He is there when I fall, with healing, comfort and encouragement. He is there when I feel alone, and when I am filled with the joys of living. He is my loving parent.

  • Linda wells

    I see God as loving me unconditionally and being steadfast in his support and strength, but always pushing me to not be satisfied with the Christian that I am but to try each and every day to be more like Christ in how I respond to those around me.

  • Austin Steo

    Regardless of whatever our image of God was or is, if we are going to say “Thy will be done.” then we are submitting to and accepting the God that said “I Am,” the God that revealed Himself to us. In order to accept His “will be done” we therefore need to educate ourselves as to who He said He is, what qualities He has proven or demonstrated in scripture and supported throughout the ages through His church, His representatives and saints. Admitting that our image of God can be misinformed or not properly formed and not in unison with what He has already revealed to us, is a good place to start.

  • Emily Wilson

    God is life and love. God is bigger than us, but we are part of God. The holy spirit is in us and when we listen He gives us peace. Jesus is the light when I see the beautiful rocky and grassy hillsides, I take a deep breath and gives thanks for the life God gave me. This image of God is vastly different to the big bearded fatherly man in the clouds I imagined as a child. But, God is still my father and I love him more and more every day.

  • VinMack

    I see God as a teacher someone to lead and guide you down the right path. He has a path for everyone and sometimes that path is not the way you would expect or want it.
    Anything that happens is trying to teach me or guide me in the right steps and more deeper life in the faith of God and his son Jesus Christ.

  • Marnie Toline

    I have never posted my comment before anywhere else online but am moved to do so here and say that Renessa Foronda’s video about how she sees God is about the most beautiful, true and well said description of God I have ever heard. It touched me, thank you so much! I have now forwarded her video to many others. Have a blessed Lent trusting in Jesus, Thy will be done!

  • kiannafleur

    I grew closer to God during my younger brother’s final days. He couldn’t speak clearly, but he tried to participate in praying the Lord’s Prayer. His voice grew most fervent at the words, “Thy will be done.” My brother died one year ago on March 10. This year, Lent began shortly before the anniversary of his death. My Lenten plan is to be aware of God’s presence always. In me, around me. And to abandon myself completely to Him.

  • Sallie Roberts

    I think of God as a protector from my own errors and my life in general –HE gives me help all day in dealing with my frustrations in a more pleasant way and sends me help all the time in the strangest ways! And I can say thank you for showing me something I did not see usually each day! He helps me do what I think is hard and I cannot do if I ask for Him to do it for me — He usually shows me how to do what I am afraid I can’t and the day is really OK after all.

  • Sam Adams

    I listened to a homily once and the priest explained that our image of God is very much like how our earthly father is. If our father was loving and kind, we see God that way. If our father was strict and judgmental, we see God that way. And on and on.

  • Vivienne

    I see God as good ;that goodness that happens/ exists in everything if we can find it.
    Sometimes it so evident to me and at other times not so obvious ,but I just know it is there and must be there.
    If I want to find God, i try hard to fine that “good” in whatever thing /occasion good ,evil/bad,happy ,sad etc

  • Betty

    My inspiration on this is a mantra I’ve used for some time. God our Father in heaven, have mercy on me, God the Son, redeemer of the world, receive my prayer, God the Holy Spirit, strengthen me. Holy Trinity, be my guide and councilor in this life. Amen

  • Peggy Bowes

    Renessa’s reflection is one of the best summaries of “Thy Will Be Done,” I have ever heard! So insightful!

  • Patricia Devereaux

    I see JESUS as my redeemer, HE saved me from my wild will, once I laid down my will and gave it to GOD to followed HIM. He revealed HIMSELF to me when I was at my darkest moment. I needed to be consoled,the doctors had just told me I had only six months to live because I had liver cancer. The only person who could console me was my father who was dead, so I asked GOD to let me talk with my dad because I knew he was in heaven with our LORD. JESUS let me talk to my father through HIM . In the moment I confessed that I did everything I knew I should not have, my life was falling apart and I was given a death sentence since my liver was failing from all the drug abuse. I felt my will surrender and turn itself over to GOD. This is when the miracle happened, I felt my own dad through the HOLY SPIRIT literally wrap THEIR arms around me and pull my head to rest on HIS should as the hot oil anointing went all over my body from the inside out. I was filled with hope, joy, healing and the knowledge that no matter what the doctors, psychiatrists, chemical dependency councilors, and therapist told me, it was all null and void! JESUS had healed me from the inside out! A few months pasted when I was to return to the hospital for a follow up and the doctor told me to sit down. I sat down and the doc said “we have no explanation for your liver, it is back to normal, life has given you a second chance” I said, ” God has given me a second chance”.. I’ve never craved drugs again since that miracle….praise GOD, HE is so powerfully real!

    • Linda Carmelle

      You have a truest miracle,what an enormous blessing !

  • Marjorie

    My understanding of God comes from looking back at all the times God has been with me in my past. Reminding myself of how in good times and bad that HE was guiding me even if I didn’t know it at the time. I can think back to being a 10 year old home by myself and a stranger came to the door to see my parents-I invited him in to come in and wait because they would be right back,…this stranger said no he’d come back later and told me to never invite a stranger into my home. At 20 I was dating a questionable guy (I see that clearly now) and God told me NO in a big way. In my 30’s it really was a ‘God-moment’ that a specialist was filling in for the small town local surgeon and saved my life. In my 40’s God told me no, I had to move to Italy and leave our oldest with his grandma & grandpa (military move) which actually brought our family closer together. In my 50’s I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and after several doctor visits found a gynecological oncologist who was great. I had tests I didn’t know existed and spent days, weeks and months in the hospital. Going through the cancer brought me so close to God. It is hard to describe the feeling of peace that God gave me during that very tough time. I memorized a Bible verse that really says how God is with us:

    “The Lord himself goes before me, He will always be with me. He will never leave me nor for sake me. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

    Waiting on a gurney for one more test I could picture Jesus lying beside me and smiling telling me it would be okay; I felt him in the chair next to me in the infusion room, he had a chest port and a chemo drip same as me but he was smiling and talking reassuring me it would be okay….WOW. Like I said a peace that is so wonderful.

    I am now in my 60’s and these are just a few of the times that God has protected me, been with me. The answer was NO more times than I like to think but like most people in retrospect it was what was best for me. I look into my past sometimes I smile, sometimes I cry. But I can see the presence of God and know that he is a good and loving God and he loves me for who I am.

  • Magdalena Teresita

    I see God as quiet.

  • Lisa Peters

    I like how it is said that we need to trust God. That He is leading our path. I keep having to remind myself of that. Even if our path changes in ways than what we we expect we need to keep our focus on Him and trust Him as He trust us. He has a plan for us even if we don’t see it right away.

  • Kellie Huisenga

    Have you ever loved someone so much that you truly believed you couldn’t go on if they weren’t part of your life? I feel like God loves us that much. That’s how I see God.Over and over in my life God has pursued me and gently drawn me back to Himself, like a lover pursues the object of affection. Constant and unchanging, persistent and unwavering in His love for us.

  • Mike Jones

    God is Dynamic Catholic, the purpose and works of Christ. God is what people see, what people hear. Every second of every day I am God to this world. Someone is always watching, so as the readers of this; what God are you showing the world?

  • janeyt

    I have peace because one day i will be in eternity with the Father and all of this stuff here on earth i won’t have to go through anymore. my time here is soooooooo short compared to eternity with the Father. that provides me with strength and tremendous hope and reminds me that these things will pass. (although i have a more difficult time thinking of that while going through difficult times, haha) i receive peace remembering that i will be in eternity and i won’t have to go through these difficult times any longer.

  • Natalie

    I’m trying to understand- really, I am. However, there have been things that have been taken from me, things I’ve seen taken from other people, and I just don’t see how it’s “okay” with God to sit there and watch my pain. Sure, I’ve felt His presence, but in a stand-offish way- almost as if He WON’T help me. He could, but just doesn’t. “Thy will be done?” How? Why? What benefit has it given me? I sure haven’t seen one.

  • Linda Carmelle

    He is my Supreme Parent. He is my Teacher. He is my Master.

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