Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 20, 2000
Goodness of God's love should bring joy - Jesuit
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God. And so it was fitting that the beginning of the mission at St. Theresa's Church began with this same word.
"God is the beginning, we cannot do anything without God," said Jesuit Father George Maloney, who directed the Lenten parish mission March 11-16. "In the beginning was God and we must build our faith, our hope on God."
About 300 people gathered to hear Maloney speak on the first day of the mission March 13.
"There is only one God by nature," Maloney told them. "But three different persons each giving himself to each other."
Ordained in 1957, Maloney has a doctorate from the Pontifical Oriental Institute.
He taught at Fordham University and was the founder and director of the John XXIII Institute for Eastern Christian Studies. He has written more than 60 books on prayer and Eastern Christian spirituality.
At 76, Maloney still exudes youthfulness with his brown goatee and exuberant smile and hand gestures when proclaiming God's infinite love for us.
Maloney pounded home the message that God is good. The conclusion, is for everyone to realize "We must have God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
"God's love is good, It's not just good, it's gooder than good. It's goodest."
God is about goodness and love. When life hands bad news to us, it is not the will of God at work, said Maloney.
In times of need, depression or isolation, the natural tendency is for us to absorb ourselves in self-pity. This is not the life God wants for us, Maloney said.
"You say to yourself, 'Oh I'm so lonely - people are picking on me.' All the while the kingdom of God is within you.
"We talk to God out there, like he's an object. He's not an object. In him we live and move."
The mission is an opportunity for faith enrichment, said Helen Gledhow, a pastoral assistant and mission organizer.
"It's a chance to focus on prayer," she said. "To focus on God's life in us, with us."
Maloney said loving God sets the precedent for all the loving relationships in our lives.
The most amazing aspect of God's love that many still struggle with, he said, is its unconditional nature. "It's not that we do something to barter with God for his love. We don't have to do anything. God calls us to participate in God's very own nature."
Maloney doesn't see the point of wasting time complaining about the trivialities of life like the weather.
"We can't ask God if we did this or willed that," said Maloney. "How can we ever be lonely? How can we ever be sad? How can we ever be anything but joyful?"