Franciscan Spirit Blog

Franciscan Inspirations: Hiding from God

woman covering her face | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The response of Adam and Eve to their tragic sin would be almost comical if it didn’t indicate how we deal with guilt and try to hide—or at least hide our sin—from God. “When they heard . . . the Lord God moving about in the garden . . . the man and his wife hid themselves.” God called, “Where are you?” Adam answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself” (Gn 3:8-10).

An incident came to my mind. When I was 4 or 5 years old, all my siblings were in school. My mother was busy at her sewing machine. I was playing with her yardstick, trying to wedge it in a doorway. She told me if I try to force it, it will break. What do mothers know? And then it broke! I ran to the back of a closet and hid. Amused rather than angry, she coaxed me out. No punishment.

We humans know the temptation of following our own plans, even when they are contrary to God’s. We know better and have to try our way. If it creates a mess, shame can prompt us to try to hide our sin from God.

The profound truth is that we cannot hide from God. Psalm 139 expresses it movingly: “Where can I hide from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee? If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too. If I say, ‘Surely darkness shall hide me’. . . Darkness is not dark for you.”

Why Run?

“God’s very being is love” (Catechism of the Catholic Church). God is not a spy—a security camera capturing our every movement. “God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. At every moment, he upholds and sustains them in being” (CCC 301). His love is like the warming sun. We are embraced by it. “In him we live and move and have our being,” Paul reminds the Athenians.

The feasts of May and June are a “liturgical love feast,” helping us appreciate this personal and pervasive love of God.

On Pentecost, May 24, we received the Holy Spirit who pours the love of God into our hearts. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the priest prays: “God the Father of mercies, by the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to himself, and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins.”

The following Sunday, we celebrated the Blessed Trinity. “God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange” (CCC 221).

The feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, June 7, celebrates the real, personal presence of Christ with us in the Eucharist. Out of love, he gave us the gift of himself. He is always available, ready to listen, to support. Why run away?

June 12 is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the revelations to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Jesus promised, “Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy. I will console them in all their troubles.”

Who needs to hide?

St. Francis of Assisi collection

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