“Where is God? Why is He so silent? Where is He?” Nearly every person, at some point in their lives, utters these words. We do most often in suffering, sickness, loneliness, intense trials, and probably most frequently, in dryness in our spiritual lives. Yet, we really have to answer those questions with an honest rhetorical question: “Where can God go?” He is ever-present, always there, always with and among us — even if the sense of His presence is intangible. In some ways, God is simply and almost always in disguise.
And that disguise is creation itself. No, God is not the flower, not the mountain, not the river as pantheists would claim. Rather, God’s Wisdom, Providence, and Love are expressed in His works.
Now if out of joy in beauty [fire, or the wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the great water, or the sun and moon] they thought them gods, let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these; for the original source of beauty fashioned them… (Wisdom 13:1)
Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. (Romans 1:20)
There is perhaps no greater sign of the constancy of God’s love, mercy, providence, goodness and graciousness than our solar Sun. One day, Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta was reflecting on this cosmic body that gives life to the earth and all its creatures:
I was thinking of how all things rotate around the Sun: the earth, ourselves, all creatures, the sea, the plants – in sum, everything; we all rotate around the Sun. And because we rotate around the Sun, we are illuminated and we receive its heat. So, it pours its burning rays upon all, and by rotating around it, we and the whole creation enjoy its light and receive part of the effects and goods that the Sun contains. Now, how many beings do not rotate around the Divine Sun? Everyone does: all the Angels, the Saints, men, and all created things; even the Queen Mama – does she perhaps not have the first round, in which, rapidly spinning around it, she absorbs all the reflections of the Eternal Sun? Now, while I was thinking about this, my Divine Jesus moved in my interior, and squeezing me all to Himself, told me:
My daughter, this was exactly the purpose for which I created man: that he would always rotate around Me, and I, being at the center of his rotation like a sun, was to reflect in him my Light, my Love, my Likeness and all my happiness. At every round of his, I was to give him ever new contentments, new beauty, burning arrows. Before man sinned, my Divinity was not hidden, because by rotating around Me, he was my reflection, and therefore he was the little Light. So, it was as though natural that, I being the great Sun, the little light could receive the reflections of my Light. But, as soon as he sinned, he stop spinning around Me; his little light became dark, he became blind and lost the light to be able to see my Divinity in his mortal flesh, as much as a creature is capable of. (September 14th, 1923; Vol. 16)
Of course, more can be said about returning to our primordial condition, to “Live in the Divine Will“, etc.. But the present purpose is to say… look up. See how the Sun is impartial; how it gives its life-giving rays to every single person on the planet, good and bad alike. It faithfully rises each morning, as if to announce that all the sin, all the wars, all the dysfunction of mankind are not enough to dissuade its course.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Of course, you can hide from the Sun. You can withdraw into the darkness of sin. But the Sun remains nonetheless, burning, fixed on its course, intent upon giving you its Life — if you would not seek the shade of other gods instead.
As I write you, sunlight is streaming into my office. With every ray, God is saying, I love you. With its warmth, it is God saying I embrace you. With its light, it is God saying I am present to you. And I am so happy because, not deserving this love, it is offered anyway — like the Sun, relentlessly pouring out its life and power. And so it is with the rest of creation.
My daughter, place your head upon my Heart and rest, for you are very tired. Then, we will wander around together in order to show you my “I love you’s”, spread over the whole of creation for you. … Look at the blue Heaven: there is not one point in it without the seal of my “I love you” for the creature. Every star and the glittering that forms its crown, is studded with my “I love you’s”. Each ray of the sun, stretching toward the earth to bring Light, and every drop of Light, carry my “I love you”. And since the Light invades the earth, and man sees it, and walks over it, my “I love you” reaches him in his eyes, in his mouth, in his hands, and lays itself under his feet. The murmuring of the sea murmurs, “I love you, I love you, I love you”, and the drops of water are as many keys that, murmuring among themselves, form the most beautiful harmonies of my infinite “I love you”. The plants, the leaves, the flowers, the fruits, have my “I love you” impressed in them. The whole of Creation brings to man my repeated “I love you’s”. And man — how many of my “I love you’s” does he not have impressed in his whole being? His thoughts are sealed by my “I love you”; the beating of his heart, that beats in his chest with that mysterious “Tic, tic, tic…”, is my “I love you”, never interrupted, that says to him: “I love you, I love you, I love you…” His words are followed by my “I love you”; his movements, his steps and all the rest, contain my “I love you”…Yet, in the midst of so many waves of Love, he is unable to rise to return my Love. What ingratitude! How grieved does my Love remain! (August 1st, 1923, Vol. 16)
Hence, we have ‘no excuse’, says St. Paul, to pretend that God does not exist or that He has abandoned us. It would be as foolish as saying the Sun did not rise today.
As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. (Rom 1:20-21)
Therefore, no matter the suffering we are enduring today, no matter what our “feelings” say, let us turn our faces toward the Sun — or the stars, or the ocean, or the leaves flickering in the wind… and return God’s “I love you” with our own “I love you, too.” And let this “I love you” on your lips, if necessary, be the moment of beginning again, of returning to God; of tears of sorrow for having left Him, followed by tears of peace, knowing, He has never left you.