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Christian Brother Damien Price believes in a God who is light in the midst of the darkest night

God of light: “I believe in a God who is light in the midst of the darkest night.”

IN my childhood I was introduced to the story and the image of the Sacred Heart. 

We were gently taught that June was a special month in which – in small but meaningful ways we focused on the total and unconditional love of our God for us.

I don’t believe in a God of fear. 

I don’t believe in a God of the clenched fist nor the accusing eye.

I don’t believe in a God who labels “in” and “out” – “better” or “best”! 

I don’t believe in a magician God nor a God who walks on water nor a God who bean-counts my love. 

I don’t believe in a single-issue God who turns their back on any sinner or any cause. 

I don’t believe in a God who blesses one and curses another. 

I don’t believe in a God of power over nor divide and rule. 

I don’t believe in a God who excludes.

I don’t believe in a God of rulebook love. 

I don’t believe in a God of patriarchy and power. 

I don’t believe in a God who shames. 

I don’t believe in a petty God, a label-bounded God nor a God who marches to the drum of greed’s need. 

I don’t believe in a male nor female God but a God beyond all names.

I don’t believe in a better-than God that pits one nation, culture or religion against another “in the name” of God. 

I don’t believe in a God who listens because we light a thousand candles anymore than a single cry from an aching heart. 

I don’t believe in a stock-market God who blesses one born into privilege but cannot see the Lazarus at the gate. 

I don’t believe in a God who wills pain nor poverty but allows freedom so we can embrace our nobility. 

I don’t believe in a God of walls that block out, shut out and limit.

I don’t believe in an elsewhere God – faraway nor “up there!”

I believe in a nearby God, an all-around God – an in-there God – our deepest, truest self.

I believe in a God who is love – who is awe – who is found in life lived to the full.

I believe in a God who is mystery and that mystery asks us to dance rather than unravel and understand.

I believe in a God whose first fruit is hope.

I believe in a God who forgives – always forgives.

I believe in a God of compassion – of gentle human understanding.

I believe in a God who knocks ever so gently on the door of my heart, takes off shoes, waits patiently and when asked – gently, as guest, enters my sacred story.

I believe in a God found in the tiniest moment of courage.

I believe in a God who is light in the midst of the darkest night.

I believe in a round-table God of no first nor last, no better nor worse.

I believe in a God who weeps at the effects of greed, mourns the loss of rainforest and reef.

I believe in a personal God who wraps arms of understanding around the poor village widow who cuts the last branch from the last tree for firewood for her hungry family. 

I believe in a God of bridges between stories and hearts and longings.

I believe in a Shepherd God. 

I believe in a God who knows me by name. 

I believe in a God who calls me to follow. 

I believe in a God beyond all names. 

I believe in a God who looks at the heart.

I believe in a God “in the distress and the disguise” of the poor. 

I believe in a God of basin and towel – caressing calloused feet on faithful journey.

I believe in a God who is the bread for the journey.

I believe in a God of knowing winks and loving smiles.

I believe in the God that St Francis saw in wolf and flower and reed and St Clare embraced in simplicity and joy. 

I believe in the God that birthed courage in St Maximilian Kolbe’s heart in the midst of Auschwitz’s hate. 

I believe in the God that brought forth tenderness in Mother Teresa’s eyes and hands upon Kolkata’s streets.

I believe in the God that St Augustine longed for and St Monica prayed to.

I believe in a God at home in a broken fragile but authentic Church.

I believe in a God who hears my every cry, wraps me in gently arms, whispers love and looks deep into me – and smiles.

Christian Brother Damien Price is a former teacher in Brisbane schools including St Joseph’s, Gregory Terrace; St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe; and St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane. He continues to work with schools across the country.

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