We could talk about philosophical “proofs” for the existence of God (of which there are many good ones). Or we could study the overwhelming evidence and logic that Jesus Christ was a real, historical person who is who he claimed to be (i.e. God). Or the scientific evidence for miracles. Or the compelling lives of the Saints. Or the surprising and unlikely, yet true, story of the Church.
They build a great case for God. But there is something still more convincing.
Consider the existence of an exotic island. You can read all the proofs, history and theories about the existence of an exotic island, but nothing compares to actually going and standing on its shores. When you sink your toes into its sandy beach, bathe in its warm waves and feast on its fruit, you have no need of further proof that it exists. You know.
So it is with God. The philosophy and secondhand evidence helps. But nothing compares to the proof of personal experience.
But how do we experience God when he seems so intangible and beyond our reach? The cosmos have been painted into a picture and we spend our lives searching every corner of the canvas trying to find the painter. All the while, we forget to look at what the painter painted. Every single stroke has profound meaning. One way we directly experience and understand the Creator is through his creation.
If you want to know what to do with your body, look at how the human body is supposed to work. If you want to know what your heart was made for, dare to discover the inner-most longings that lurk at its depths. It is clear that we were made to choose and to do and to seek certain things. God speaks loudly in his creation, it’s just so far under our noses that we miss it.
And God didn’t leave it at that, he also made the visit himself. He entered the painting showing us exactly who he is: Perfect love. Jesus gives of himself in the most radical and complete way possible. If you want to know how to live your life, look to the crucifix. There is no clearer answer nor surer path to experiencing God.
God also gave us a Church and, through it, scripture and sacraments. All so that he could further be made present and tangible to us today. So that our senses truly can experience standing solidly on his rock, bathing in his waters and feasting on his fruits.
But you won’t experience any of this unless you take a leap of faith and live it. Prove God to yourself. Fear not the cost. Live this kind of life and you will need no further proof of God’s existence. You’ll know.
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried” – G. K. Chesterton