Kitchen Catechism: Featured Articles


by Lois Donahue

The next time you see yourself in a mirror think about the fact that, instead of you, God could have created someone else.

God didn’t have to create you (there’s nothing God HAS to do), He wasn’t forced to create you (no one can force God to do anything), He didn’t create you by mistake (God doesn’t make mistakes). There is no question. God could have created anyone He wanted - therefore, it goes without saying - He wanted you. He chose you. Don’t ever forget that. It is easy for me to tell you “don’t ever forget” but these will remain simply words with little impact on your life until you, yourself, not only come to believe the truth that God both chose you and loves you; but until you also begin to discover and experience the joy and peace, strength and consolation which comes with ‘always remembering’.

This may take time - time during which you, being as fully human as the rest of us and therefore wanting answers, might find yourself wondering about things like ‘what’ and ‘how’ and ‘why’. I, too, have done some wondering along those lines and would like to share with you thoughts which crossed my mind as I searched for answers.

To begin with you may not, as yet, be convinced that in creating human beings God really did ‘chose’ us and truly does ‘love’ us. So, you might ask - WHAT makes some people so certain He did and He does? 

One reason so many of us believe God loves us seems to be, at least from our perspective, rather obvious. Think about the fact that not one of us would even exist, let alone have a place where we could exist, if God had not created us, as well as this world for us, and that He did both for no other reason than He wanted to. To us that demonstrates a deep, unselfish caring well within an acceptable definition of love.

For a reason which might be considered more specifically identified as love, what about the words Jesus spoke to His apostles with His usual intent that they, as His voice, speak them also to us - “There is no greater love than this: To lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends.” Take a minute and look at a crucifix. There you will see God, present in the humanity of Jesus, - laying down His life - for us. “No greater love....”

As for WHAT causes belief that God ‘chose’ us, let’s again lift some words from the pages of Scripture in which our Creator tells us - “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” -- “I have called you by name. You are mine.” For myself, I needed nothing more to convince me that creation was not an assembly-line kind of operation that instead, God knew us personally, intimately - by name and by sight, knew the sound of our voice from the very beginning ... He knew Ann who would have her paternal grandfather’s dark eyes and her mother’s laugh -- He knew Paul with his father’s height and his maternal grandmother’s blonde hair -- so on and on and on. Not only was my belief in “being chosen” confirmed but I came to realize God was very real, an actual ‘someone’ who was not only present and active in my life now but who, in some unexplainable way, knew me and thought about me even before I was, in any way, conscious of being.

Briefly, let me add something more concerning the fact that each and every one of us has been individually chosen; but first let me say I base my thoughts on the assumption that none of your doubts come from a belief that we are no more than an accidental result of sex and mixed genes with absolutely no need for God’s intervention. Nor am I in any way inclined to believe you imagine God having made and continuing to make on-the-spot choices every single time a child is conceived. I think maybe, not out of lack of faith but out of curiosity, any hesitancy to believe which you might have stems less from your wondering if we were chosen than from the understandably common ‘wondering’ we’ve all done concerning HOW -- HOW, for example, those of us, born in this century, could possibly have been ‘chosen’ way, way, way back at the time of creation?

Speaking only for myself, here’s the way I deal with that particular ‘how’. Knowing that the exact details of creation exist with God somewhere far beyond human understanding, I have no problem leaving my wonderings as to the specific “how’s: of creation in the realm of “faith”. That is absolutely sufficient for me. At the same time, however, I am equally content allowing my imaginative humanity to believe the following:

Within the exact same instant when God willed humanity into existence there was present every biological component needed to eventually produce each one of us and right then also, in some miraculous way, we were already so individually known to Him that He could not only see us and call us by name, but we were each so personally present to Him, so unrestrained by time, that He knew every thought we would ever think and observed every thing we would ever do.

Now comes the ‘WHY’; which is a natural question asked by all of us. “Why me?”, we wonder. “After all God knew at the moment of creation that I would never reach the mountaintop of spirituality let alone stay there. Certainly, there was no doubt in His mind that my faith would not measure up to that of a martyr. Just as surely He knew that along my earthly journey I’d stumble and fall, have some good stretches, then get weary, most likely complain, try again, then trip over my ego, have times of doubt and fear and reluctance. Then why? I think the answer may lie within our own experience. Why do we chose someone to be our dearest friend even though he or she is not always an example of perfection? What makes us more than willing to chose to marry someone who we do not hesitate to admit is, in some ways, flawed? One word answer -- LOVE. You and I make choices because we love. God chose you because He loved you at the very moment He first thought of you - has loved you continually ever since and will love you unceasingly and unconditionally forever. That’s another thing never to forget.

To sum things up let me tell you very honestly that I have no idea whether any of these thoughts will help lead you in the direction God wants you to go nor do I know if any of the conclusions I have drawn as to ‘what’ and ‘how’ and ‘why’ make any sense whatsoever in the mind of God. However, deep within my heart I am confident of this -- somehow, in some miraculous way, each one of us is “hand made”, with great love and gentle care, by God and that somewhere within the details of each one of us, He deliberately leaves a reflection of Himself.

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"Nothing should
frighten or grieve you.
Let not your heart be troubled. Am I, your Mother,
not here with you?"

"Nothing should
frighten or grieve you.
Let not your heart be troubled. Am I, your Mother,
not here with you?"

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