Franciscan Spirit Blog

Notes from a Friar: God Speaks to All

Man on a beach | Photo by Farhad Fallahzad on Unsplash

Someone once asked me how many languages God speaks. I quickly realized that the person needed a fundamental answer. Of course, God speaks all languages.

It is better to think of God as communicating, which opens up many more possibilities. We humans communicate with more than words. In our human nature, we can communicate with a glance, a smile, a chuckle, and so many more ways. Think of a mother who communicates with her newborn infant. She does that by a kiss, a caress of her infant in her arms, a tender stroke, or even by humming.

We know that infants who don’t receive this kind communication often miss an essential part in their emotional development. It has been proven that such communication stimulates key hormones in the infant that aids in emotional growth. Just think of animals that lick their offspring when they are just born. They are doing more than cleaning them up.

We humans cannot exist without relationships. The need for communication is part of our very human nature. Having said that about humans, and defining God as love, we understand that God is the infinite communicator. His very act of creation is an act of communicating his love to all he creates, but especially to us who are blessed with intelligence and free will.

No Language Is Foreign to God

But we should not restrict God’s communication. God can and does communicate in ways we can’t imagine. If a mother can communicate to her infant, would we ever say that God does not? God is in communication with us by his very presence. It may well be an inspiration or a thought that comes to mind. It may be an impulse to do something good for another.

People who think God is “somewhere up there” have a misunderstanding of the reality of God’s presence. God is infinitely concerned and connected with all of us. There is never a moment when we walk alone. God is always present to us.

I was chaplain for many years at a large retirement and nursing facility. I would visit our nursing home and Alzheimer’s unit. To my own perception, many of these people were unable to communicate to staff or to one another. But at the same time, I was convinced that God was as close to each of them as he was to the rest of us. That’s why I think God knows all languages. I consoled many families with that thought and they realized that their loved ones were never alone or without the presence of God.

St. Francis of Assisi collection

3 thoughts on “Notes from a Friar: God Speaks to All”

  1. My father died at the age of 58, alone in his house. For many years I was distressed that he died alone. As I matured in my faith, I realized that he was not alone! That realization is a great comfort. Thank you, Lord, for being there!

  2. Mike Reininger

    To the beginning part of the article, I say “To Jesus through Mary.”

    As for seniors with dementia, senility, or even Alzheimer’s disease, just remember, the soul is still there and act accordingly. The soul knows the presence of those that love them. God uses us to help others. Yes, we all have each other. We are only as alone as we allow ourselves to be.

  3. Thank you for this reminder that although we may ‘physically’ die alone, God is the One with the dying and those with dementia who Ste unable to communicate with us.

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