By: Mr. Jeffery Gardner, Guest Writer
In its simplest meaning, revelation is God’s communication to Man over time. This revelation has two levels: natural revelation and divine revelation. Natural revelation is God revealing himself to us in the natural world. It is, if you will, God leaving clues as to who he is through his creation. But this natural revelation does not reveal the name of God. The name of God – who he is – is divinely revealed to us in our Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and most fully through God’s own Son, Jesus Christ.
Quite simply, Jesus Christ reveals God the Father to us in their shared (consubstantial) divinity. Through the incarnation – God becoming man- we learn who God is in the relationship of the incarnated Son to the Heavenly Father. We see more deeply the reality of God through this relationship. This God is not only the creator God that we know through natural revelation, but is also the God who revealed himself to Moses as, “I am who am,” and the God who is the Father of Jesus who is also fully human. Those, my friends, are very deep and nuanced layers of revelation.
This revelation is essential to who we are as Children of God. God reveals himself to us so that we can know him. It is similar to the relationship between a man and a woman in love: as they share their interiority with each other, they can fall more deeply in love. This is why we have the saying, “to love someone is to love someone.” God’s revelation is simply an act of loving self disclosure so that we can know him and he can know us.
God’s revelation is done in Scripture, in the Tradition of Christian community, in the Sacraments – particularly the Eucharist – and in moments of prayer. Contemplate what St Therese of Lisieux said of prayer: “For me. Prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward Heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” (Quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2558) Now, that’s revelation!