Hallowed be Thy Name

An extract from the first reading of Thursday of the 15th week of the year (Exodus 3:13-20)

Moses, hearing the voice of God coming from the middle of the bush, said to him, ‘I am to go, then, to the sons of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” But if they ask me what his name is, what am I to tell them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am. ‘This’ he added ‘is what you must say to the sons of Israel: “I Am has sent me to you.”’ And God also said to Moses, ‘You are to say to the sons of Israel: “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name for all time; by this name I shall be invoked for all generations to come.

This is a most important text from the Old Testament. “I AM”* is the mark of the self-conscious creature, Man, and is also the mark of Almighty God. It is also the truest statement that can ever be made.

Catholics share this basic intuited truth with all people called by the Holy Spirit, whatever their religious denomination. It is my understanding that in meditation and contemplation, with the mind quietly stilled under guidance from Holy Scripture, God’s “I AM” becomes known, in the eternal now. God willing, in that state, you may receive internal locutions from Him, but I repeat, God willing! You cannot take the Kingdom of Heaven by force.

I came across some meditation software(!) advertised on Google the other day. You can buy 1-3 MP3 files to listen to through headphones. A snip at several hundred dollars for the set. No mention of God is made, though, and I fear that unguided meditation can lead you down as well as up, so beware.

*If I may be allowed to be a bit norty, “Je suis” is “Jesus” without the little “i”.

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Quote: "My advice is not to let the donkey operate the spacecraft."
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6 Responses to Hallowed be Thy Name

  1. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    It seems that God, Moses and the sons of Israel spoke English.
    To say nothing of the French bit.

  2. Mimi says:

    When I was at school, the version of the Bible we used translated God’s name as “I Am Who Am”. This is infinitely more mysterious and wondrous than “I am Who I am”, which always sounds a bit dismissive to me — sort of, “I am who I am and it’s none of your business, so there!” Whereas “I am Who am” expresses the nature of God as pure being, One Whose nature simply is to be, the source of all life and existence — “I am the One Who IS”. God simply IS — eternal, uncreated, not dependent on anyone or anything else for His existence.

    “I Am Who Am” filled my young mind with wonder and an almost dizzying sense of infinity.
    When did this banal new translation appear?

  3. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Mimi, you refer to the almost dizzying sense of infinity.

    When I was a kid, I would fall asleep trying to imagine infinity because I’d been told that sinners would go to hell for all eternity. I too became dizzy with this impossible concept. Did my head in.

    Evidently.

  4. golden chersonnese says:

    Mimi said:
    Whereas “I am Who am” expresses the nature of God as pure being, One Whose nature simply is to be, the source of all life and existence — “I am the One Who IS”. God simply IS — eternal, uncreated, not dependent on anyone or anything else for His existence.

    I must confess, Mimi, as a child I found the “I Am Who Am” to be all rather hopelessly confusing and mysterious in that sense, like “the sound of one hand clapping” and all that.

    Now that I am just a little older and wiser, I marvel that a bunch of silly old bronze age goat-herders were nevertheless cool with “ontology”.

  5. Brother Burrito says:

    Mimi,

    I lifted that extract from Universalis.com, which is based on the Jerusalem Bible. I agree with your point entirely. I’m sure Raven has something to add, he being familiar with the original Greek text.

    For years I heard arrogant so and sos being described as “The great I am”, and assumed it was a mere put down. Only recently I discovered that it is a name used by many Christians for Christ Himself.

    Another name for Him is “the everlasting man” also the title of a great book by GKC, freely available online.

    As a child, I was always fascinated by infinity too– thanks for reminding me. Only I could be so foolish as to misplace a memory that size!

  6. manus says:

    Erm, which infinity, exactly?

    One of the most fascinating and controversial finding of mathematics, which for some reason never makes it out into the general public, is that old Georg Cantor discovered there are multiple infinities – infinitely many of them, indeed. Thus, there are an infinite number of natural numbers – integers – and this is labelled aleph zero. But there are also an infinite number of real numbers (adding in all the fractions, and especially your transscendental numbers like pi and e which make up the vast majority of them), and this is labelled aleph one. And aleph one is provably bigger than aleph zero. Much, much bigger. And so the series continues.

    There are big philosophical and even theological controversies surrounding his ideas:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Cantor

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