August 2, 2010
Julian Meditations

July, 2010

God Is

by William Johnston

WHEN YOU SAY THAT GOD IS you have said everything that can be said about God. For this little word "is" includes the fact that God is good and merciful and just and loving: It includes all God's attributes.

Put in more technical language, God's existence and his essence are identical: what God is and that God is are the same... "I am who I am." God alone is being in the full sense of the word.

The consequences for prayer are enormous. When I sit in simple and silent awareness of God's Being, without reflecting on any of his attributes, I am engaging in the richest of all prayers since all God's attributes are included in His Being. Is not this a valid justification of existential prayer?

God is the fullness of Being. We, on the other hand, poor humans, are limited being, being by participation... I am and God is. No words, no thinking, no reasoning, no reflecting on God's attributes. Contemplative prayer is a prayer of just being.

From Being in Love: The Practice of Christian Prayer by William Johnston (London: HarperCollinsReligious, 1988). p. 70.