God Spray

Pope Francis used for the second time an image in his teaching that I think is both very humorous and very effective: “God spray”.

Thanks to Fr. Finigan at The Hermeneutic of Continuity for this great image!

The first time the Holy Father used it was in one of his daily homilies in the Vatican (back on April 18th); Father Finigan has a fuller report on it but here are some relevant excerpts:

The Pope drew inspiration for his homily from the Gospel of John in which Jesus tells the crowd that “he who believes has eternal life”. He says the passage is an opportunity for us to examine our conscience. He noted that very often people say they generally believe in God. “But who is this God you believe in?” asked Pope Francis, confronting the evanescence of certain beliefs with the reality of a true faith:

“An ‘all over the place god’, a ‘god spray‘ so to speak, who is a little bit everywhere but about whom no one really knows anything. We believe in God who is Father, who is Son, who is Holy Spirit. We believe in Persons, and when we talk to God we talk to Persons: either I speak with the Father, or I speak with the Son, or I speak with the Holy Spirit. And this is the faith.”

But then the Pope returned to this image in his Sunday catechesis yesterday (May 26th):

Today is the Sunday of the Most Holy Trinity. The light of Eastertime and Pentecost renews in us each year the joy and wonder of the faith: we recognize that God is not some vague thing – our God is not a God “spray” – He is concrete, He is not abstract, but He has a name: “God is love”. It is not a sentimental love, emotional, but the love of the Father who is the origin of all life, the love of the Son who dies on the Cross and rises again, the love of the Spirit who renews man and the world. To think that God is love is so good for us, because it teaches us to love, to give ourselves to others as Jesus gave Himself to us, and walks with us. Jesus walks with us on the path of life. [My translation, official one not yet available.]

This is a fantastic analogy, a great mental image! I hope to use it myself sometime. Thanks, Holy Father!

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