Jesus says in the book of Matthew Ch.7, vs. 7-8:"Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. Everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened." You seek by reading the Bible and studying the words of Christ. When you read the scriptures, God will speak to you through the written word. If you seek for God with all your heart and soul you will find Him.
KNOWING GOD THROUGH REASON
KNOWING GOD THROUGH MIRACLES
In St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica, Pars Prima-The First Part-Ia, Question 12,[Source: A Tour of the Summa, by Msgr. Paul J. Glenn, TAN Books and Publishers] Used with permission.
St. Thomas explains:
"12. HOW WE CAN KNOW GOD (REASON)
1. A thing is knowable in so far as it is actual. Since God is supremely actual, God is supremely knowable. God indeed is not well known by every mind, although a normal mind cannot come to maturity without at least some vague knowledge of God as a universal power or world-control. Those who say that man cannot truly know God are mistaken. Their teaching conflicts with the natural drive of the mind to grasp truth and to know the causes of things, including the First Cause. Besides, we know by faith that the blessed in heaven actually behold God's essence."
Also, St. Thomas Aquinas says in the Summa Theologica, Pars Prime-The First Part-Ia, Question 2: "There are five notable ways of reasoning out the truth that God exists. The first way is by considering motion in the world. Where there is motion, there is a mover, and ultimately a first mover, itself unmoved. This is God. The second way is by considering the chains of effecting causes that exist in the world. Things here are produced by their causes; these causes in turn were produced by their causes, and so on. Ultimately, there must be a first cause which is itself uncaused. This is God. The third way is by considering the contingency of things in the world. Contingent things do not have to exist; they are non-necessary; they come into existence, and undergo change, and pass away. Now, contingent things demand as their ultimate explanation a non-contingent being, a necessary being. This is God. The fourth way is by considering the scale of perfection manifest in the world. Things are more or less good, more or less noble, and so on. Now, where there is good and better and still better, there must at last be a best which is the source and measure of goodness all along the line. And where there is noble and nobler and still more noble, there must ultimately be a noblest which is the standard by which all lesser degrees of nobleness can be known and given their rating. In a word, where there are degrees of perfection, there must ultimately be absolute perfection. This is God. The fifth way is by considering the order and government seen in this world. Things act in a definite way and were manifestly designed to act so; through their nature (that is, their active or operating essence) they are governed in their activities. Thus there are design and government in the world. Hence there are ultimately a first designer and first governor. And since both design and government involve intelligence, there must be governor and designer who is the first and absolute intelligence. This is God."
To see a web site on the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas click here:
IS THERE MORE EVIDENCE GIVEN TO MEN
SO THAT THEY MAY BELIEVE IN GOD'S EXISTENCE::
OTHER FORMS OF EVIDENCE:
MIRACLES-Throughout the history of mankind, God has directly manifested His Existence by the display of miracles, visions, or manifestations of His Presence. Different individuals in our current time and throughout history have experienced manifestations of Divinity. There are millions and millions of people who have had Close Encounters of the Divine. Some of these Divine Manifestations are written below.
Weekly Television Show on current day miracles called: ITS A MIRACLE, hosted by actor Richard Thomas from the television show The Waltons. Web address is: http://www.itsamiracle.com Check local television listings for the airing time in your area.
|"Thomas, called the Twin,
who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples
said to him, 'We have seen the Lord,' but he answered,
'Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into
the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to
believe.' Eight days later the disciples were in the house
again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood
among them. 'Peace be with you,' he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, 'Put your finger
here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Do not
be unbelieving any more but believe.' Thomas replied, 'My Lord and my God!'
Jesus said to him: You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who
have not seen and yet believe." John 20: 24-29
Resurrection Image is from The Learning Company, Inc. (TLC). The image is for viewing purposes only; it may not be downloaded or copied. In the picture Jesus is showing the apostle Thomas the nail used in His crucifixion and the wounds He received from the crucifixion.
Some examples of these miraculous manifestations from God are cited here:
Blessed Sister Fausina H. Kowalska(1905-1938) had Jesus Christ appear to her on several occassions during her life on earth. The following was taken from a book entitled The Life of Faustina Kowalska, by Sister Sophia Michalenko, C.M.G.T. :
"Without sharing her future plans with her employer, Helen(Sister Faustina) left her position on July 1, 1924. 'She would have left sooner,' said Mrs. Sadowska,' but she was so good and caring. I knew she waited until my baby was born.'
Shortly after leaving Mrs. Sadowska, Helen(Sister Faustina) attended
a dance with her sister Josephine. Although everyone was having a good time, Helen
was beset with great torment. As she began to dance, she had the following mystical
experience. Suddenly she saw Jesus standing next to her. He was stripped of
His clothing and covered with wounds. Jesus glanced at her reproachfully and said to
her, How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting Me off?
(Diary 9) At that moment she no longer heard the pleasant music; she saw no
one around her. She was alone with Jesus. She walked off the dance floor, went
to sit beside her sister and pretended that the abrupt change in her was due to a
headache. Then she slipped away from the dance hall unnoticed and directed her steps
toward the Cathedral of St. Stanislaus Kostka. It was already dusk. Only a few
people were in the church. Unaware of every one around her, Helen(Sister Faustina)
prostrated herself before the tabernacle. From the depths of her anguished soul she
implored the Lord to enlighten her as to what was His will and what her next step should
be. Suddenly she heard the words: Go at once to Warsaw; you will enter
a convent there(10)."
Another example, Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824), had extensive visions and knowledge given to her concerning the past, present and future of events that occurred or would occur to people. The following excerpt of one of Emmerich's visions is from the 4 Volume work entittled : The Life of Jesus Christ And Biblical Revelations, [Source: TAN Books and Publishers, located at: http://www.catholicity.com/market/tan/offer.html]Volume 4:
"And now Jesus clasped the pillar in His arms. The executioners, with horrible imprecations and barbarous pulling, fastened His sacred, upraised hands, by means of a wooden peg, behind the iron ring on top. In thus doing, they so stretched His whole body, that His feet, tightly bound below at the base, scarcely touched the ground. There stood the Holy of Holies, divested of clothing, laden with untold anguish and ignominy, stretched upon the pillar of criminals, while two of the bloodhounds, with sanguinary rage, began to tear with their whips the sacred back from head to foot. The first rods, or scourges, that they used looked as if made of flexible white wood, or they might have been bunches of ox sinews, or strips of hard, white leather.
Our Lord and Saviour, the Son of God, true God and true man, quivered and writhed like a poor worm under the strokes of the criminals' rods. He cried in a suppressed voice, and a clear, sweet-sounding wailing, like a loving prayer under excruciating torture, formed a touching accompaniment to the hissing strokes of His tormentors. Now and then the cries of the populace and the Pharisees mingled with those pitiful, holy, blessed, plaintive tones like frightful peals of thunder from an angry storm cloud."
And the descriptive vision continues further on: "The last two scourgers struck Jesus with whips consisting of small chains, or straps, fastened to an iron handle, the ends furnished with iron points, or hooks. They tore off whole pieces of skin and flesh from His ribs. Oh, who can describe the awful barbarity of that spectacle!
But those monsters had not yet satiated their cruelty. They loosened the cords that bound Jesus and turned His back to the pillar and, because He was so exhausted as to be no longer able to stand, they bound Him to it with fine cords passed under His arms across His breast, and below the knees. His hands they fastened to the ring in the middle of the opposite side. Only blood and wounds, only barbarously mangled flesh could be seen on the most sacred, most venerable Body of the Son of God. Like furious bloodhounds raged the scourgers with their strokes. One held a slender rod in his left hand, and with it struck the face of Jesus. There was no longer a sound spot on the Lord's Body. He glanced, with eyes swimming in blood, at His torturers, and sued for mercy; but they became only the more enraged. He moaned in fainting tones: 'Woe! Woe!' "
The above is a excerpt taken from a 4 Volume Set entitled "The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations. Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich had many such visions of Christ's sufferings as well as many visions of people in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Another Saint who was given Divine manifestations of God's presence was Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582). She on one occasion had a vision of hell: "1. A long time after the Lord had already granted me many of the favors I've mentioned and other very lofty ones, while I was in prayer one day, I suddenly found that, without knowing how, I had seemingly been put in hell. I understood that the Lord wanted me to see the place the devils had prepared there for me and which I merited because of my sins. This experience took place within the shortest space of time, but even were I to live for many years I think it would be impossible for me to forget it. The entrance it seems to me was similar to a very long and narrow alleyway, like an oven, low and dark and confined; the floor seemed to me to consist of dirty, muddy water emitting foul stench and swarming with putrid vermin. At the end of the alleyway a hole that looked like a small cupboard was hollowed out in the wall; there I found I was placed in a cramped condition. All of this was delightful to see in comparison with what I felt there. What I have described can hardly be exaggerated. 2. What I felt, it seems to me, cannot even begin to be exaggerated; nor can it be understood. I experienced a fire in the soul that I don't know how I could describe. The bodily pains were so unbearable that though I had suffered excruciating ones in this life and according to what doctors say, the worst that can be suffered on earth for all my nerves were shrunken when I was paralyzed, plus many other sufferings of many kinds that I endured and even some as I said, caused by the devil, these were all nothing in comparison with the ones I experienced there. I saw furthermore that they would go on without end and without ever ceasing. This, however, was nothing next to the soul's agonizing: a constriction, a suffocation, an affliction so keenly felt and with such a despairing and tormenting unhappiness that I don't know how to word it strongly enough. To say the experience is as though the soul were continually being wrested from the body would be insufficient, for it would make you think somebody else is taking away the life, whereas here it is the soul itself that tears itself in pieces. The fact is that I don't know how to give a sufficiently powerful description of that interior fire and that despair, coming in addition to such extreme torments and pains. I didn't see who inflicted them on me, but, as it seemed to me, I felt myself burning and crumbling; and I repeat the worst was that interior fire and despair. 3. Being in such an unwholesome place, so unable to hope for any consolation, I found it impossible either to sit down or to lie down, nor was there any room, even though they put me in this kind of hole made in the wall. Those walls, which were terrifying to see, closed in on themselves and suffocated everything. There was no light, but all was enveloped in the blackest darkness. I don't understand how this could be, that everything painful to see was visible." [Source: The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Volume 1, Chapter32: paragraphs: 1,2,3. Published by Institute of Carmelite Studies Publications, Washington,D.C..]
Click here for a St. Teresa of Avila web site: http://history.hanover.edu/early/teresa.htm
Another example of miraculous signs comes from the book The Life of Saint Dominic(1170-1221) by Augusta Theodosia Drane, Published by Tan Books and Publishers, Inc.:
"Dominic was accustomed at this time to preach in the church of St. Mark, where he was listened to with enthusiasm by crowds of all ranks who flocked to hear him. Among them one of his most constant auditors was a certain Roman widow, Guatonia or Tuta di Buvalischi; and one day, rather than miss the preaching, she came to St. Mark's, having left her only son at home dangerously ill. She returned to her house to find him dead. When the first anguish of her grief was over, she felt an extraordinary hope rise within her that by the mercy of God and the prayers of His servant Dominic, her child might yet be restored to her. She therefore determined to go at once to St. Sixtus; and firm in her faith she set out on foot, whilst her women servants carried the cold and lifeless body of the boy behind her.
St. Sixtus was not yet enclosed, on account of the unfinished state of the convent, and she therefore entered the gates without difficulty and found Dominic at the door of the chapter-house, a small building standing separate from the church and convent. Kneeling at his feet, she silently laid the dead body before him, whilst her tears and sobs of anguish told the rest. Dominic, touched with compassion, turned aside for a few moments, and prayed; then, coming back, he made the Sign of the Cross over the child, and taking him by the hand, raised him, and gave him back to his mother-alive, and cured of his sickness."
Click here to a web site on St. Dominic: http://www.op.org/domcentral/trad/
St. Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1663) was given special powers by God to levitate. St Joseph was born at Cupertino, in the diocese of Nardo in the Kingdom of Naples, in 1603. After spending his childhood and adolescence in simplicity and innocence, he finally joined the Franciscan Friars Minor Conventual. After his ordination to the holy priesthood, he gave himself up entirely to a life of humiliation, mortification, and obedience. He was most devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and promoted devotion to her among all classes of people.
It is said that the life of this saint was marked by ecstasies and levitations. The mere mention of God or a spiritual matter was enough to take him out of his senses; at Mass he frequently floated in the air in rapture. The following is from the book Saint Joseph of Copertino, written by Fr. Angelo Pastrovicchi, O.M.C., publisher-TAN Books and Publishers.
"Once, on Christmas eve, when Joseph heard the sound of the bagpipes and flutes of some shepherds, whom he had invited to celebrate with him the birth of the Heavenly Child, he began to dance because of excessive joy and, with a sob and a loud cry, flew as a bird through the air from the middle of the church to the high altar, a distance of almost forty feet. There he remained about a quarter of an hour in sweet rapture, without, however, disturbing any of the many lighted candles or burning his clothes. The shepherds marveled exceedingly. Great was the wonderment of the religious and the people of Copertino on the occasion of a procession on the feast of St. Francis. Joseph, dressed in a surplice, rose up to the pulpit, about fifteen palms from the floor, and remained a long time suspended in ecstasy with outstretched arms and bent knees. Marvelous, too, was his rapture during the night of Holy Thursday while praying with other religious before the holy sepulcher, which was erected above the high altar and lit with many lamps. Suddenly he rose in direct flight to the chalice, in which his Divine Treasure was enclosed, but without touching any of the many decorations, and only after some time, when called by his superior, did he return to his former place.
At times he made similar flights to the altar of St. Francis or, while praying the Litany, to that of our Lady of Grottella. Very remarkable was his exuberance of love when the saint erected a Calvary on a hill between Copertino and the monastery at Grottella. Two crosses were already placed, but ten persons with united effort could not raise the third, which was fifty-four palms high and very heavy. On seeing this Joseph, full of ardor, flew about eighty paces from the portal of the monastery to the cross, lifted it as easily as if it were a straw, and place it in the hole prepared for it. These crosses were the object of his special devotion, and from a distance of ten or twelve paces, he, drawn by his crucified of ten or twelve paces, he, drawn by his crucified Saviour, would rise to one of the arms or the top of the cross. One day a religious was speaking with the saint about the descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles. Just then a friar happened to pass with a burning candle in his hand, at sight of which Joseph uttered a cry and flew four paces into the air, inflamed with the fire of the Holy Ghost. Another time, hearing a priest say, "Father Joseph, oh how beautiful God has made heaven," he flew up on an olive-tree and remained there half an hour kneeling, and it was a strange sight to see how the branch which bore him swayed as lightly as if a small bird rested on it."
Another Saint who had supernatural, mystical experiences was Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226). On one occassion he was given the five wounds that Jesus had received, one in each hand, one in each foot and in his side. The following excerpt was taken from a book entitled The Life os St. Francis of Assisi, by St. Bonaventure, published by TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS.
"It was infused, therefore, into his mind by divine inspiration that it should be revealed to him by Christ, on opening the Book of the Gospels, what in him, or from him, should be most acceptable to God. Having first prayed with great devotion, he therefore took the holy book of the Gospels from the altar, and caused his companion, a devout and holy man, to open it thrice in the name of the Holy Trinity. Seeing that the book opened each time at the Passion of our Lord, the man of God understood that, as he had imitated Christ in the actions of his life, so, before he should depart from this world, he was to be conformed to Him likewise in the sufferings and pains of His Passion. And although, by the great austerity of his past life and his continual bearing of the Cross of Christ, he had become very feeble in body, yet was he not terrified, but prepared himself with good courage to endure the martyrdom set before him. For there grew in him an invincible fire of the love of his good Jesus, even a flame of burning charity, which many waters could not quench. Being thus raised to God by the ardour of seraphical love, and wholly transformed by the sweetness of compassion into Him, Who, of His exceeding charity, was pleased to be crucified for us; early in the morning of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, as he was praying in a secret and solitary place on the mountain, he beheld a seraph, having six wings, all on fire, descending to him from the height of heaven. And as he flew with great swiftness towards the man of God, there appeared between the wings the form of One crucified, having His hands and feet stretched out and fixed to the Cross. Two wings rose above the head, two were stretched forth in flight, and two veiled the whole body. When he beheld this, he marvelled greatly, and his heart was filled with mingled joy and sorrow. For he rejoiced at the gracious aspect with which Christ, under the form of the Seraph, looked upon him; yet to behold Him thus fastened to the Cross pierced his soul like a sword of compassion and grief. He wondered greatly as the appearance of so new and marvelous a vision, knowing that the infirmity of the Passion could in no wise agree with the immortality of the seraphical spirit. Lastly, he understood, by the revelation of the Lord, that this vision had been presented to his eyes by Divine Providence, that the friend of Christ might know that he was to be transformed into Christ crucified, not by the martyrdom of the flesh, but by the fire of the spirit. The vison, disappearing, left behind it a marvelous fire in his heart, and a no less wonderful sign impressed on his flesh. For there began immediately to appear in his hands and in his feet the appearance of nails, as he had now seen them in the vision of the Crucified. His hands and his feet appeared pierced through the midst with nails, the heads of the nails being seen in the insides of the hands and the upper part of the feet, and the points on the reverse side. The heads of the nails in the hands and feet were round and black, and the points somewhat long and bent, as if they had been turned back. On the right side, as if it had been pierced by a lance, was the mark of a red wound, from which the sacred blood often flowed, and stained his tunic."
Click here for a Franciscan Web Site: http://www.christusrex.org/www1/ofm/icons/Dlinks3.html
There are many more Saints who have had Close Encounters of the Divine, thousands and thousands. If your interested you can do a search under topics such as: Saints, Catholic Church or the Virgin Mary or click one of the web sites listed on these pages.
Jesus, can be found by those who seek Him and are willing to change their lives to live in accord with what He taught in the Gospels. The more we allow God to transform our lives by giving up our sins through His Grace, the more he shows us, sometimes with great signs and wonders as He did with the saints.
God is present everywhere. He can be found by searching for him in the scriptures-The Old Testament and the New Testament. He can reveal Himself to His creations-men and women, when they are willing to follow His teachings by loving Him and by loving the people He has created. He can remove all doubt of His Existence in a single moment. Generally speaking, He reveals Himself to us slowly, day by day, because if He were to send us a grandiose vision of some type we would tend to become very proud and this would endanger our spiritual life. St Paul was given a grandiose vision and he was sent some great difficulty in his life in order to keep him humble. (2 Corinthians 12:1-7)
People all around the world have received signs from God convincing them of His existence. Such as feeling the presence of His Divine Love, a Love which is incomprehensible and can only be believed and understood through a direct experience. Others have seen visions or spoken in tongues or experienced Divine Healing when at a church service.
Matthew Ch.7, vs. 7-8:"Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. Everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened."