Many Saints say they see Jesus in the person they are helping. I am drawn to Mother Theresa of Calcutta saying “I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself ‘this is hungry Jesus, feed Him…’” While I agree with that, I am struggling with that conflicting with teaching on mortal sin. If a soul has alienated itself from God, can God still be present as Mother Theresa says because she does not distinguish the state of the souls and dealt with non-Christians. So my question is “Can God be found in everyone, even sinners?”
Souls which have mortally sinned have intentionally separated themselves from God via mortal sin and are dead to him. Their good works hold no supernatural merit, and their prayers can only be answered in regard to the facilitating grace necessary to return to the friendship of God. They are still made in God’s image, but have condemned themselves to hell. It’s a hard teaching which I have no pleasure in repeating, but is the truth and we should welcome it. Mother Teresa showed compassion to Non-Christian souls that they may attain the grace necessary to return to friendship with God through showing him his mercy. Many of them were further innocent via invincible ignorance, if the gospel had not been preached to them and they were endeavouring to live a good life in friendship with God. She converted thousands of such souls, by the way.
God is present in everyone and in all of creation, he made it, and is present even in a mortal sinner, but not everyone is in friendship with God. So a mortal sinner if he doesn’t repent and dies, goes to hell, he had the chance to repent and be in friendship with God but refused God. We should look at God being in everyone(even in a mortal sinner)and everything and in every circumstance of our lives… Gods grace is always present
HONESTLY until we take our last breath even if we have sinned gravely against God and others, He is still IN each of us because until we stop breathing we have the opportunity for sorrow, repentance, and asking and receiving forgiveness from Our Lord. He loves us so much I would think He’d be with us until there is NO chance whatsoever of us changing and turning to him.
If more people pondered this one statement i think the culture of death we are in might change.
The thread title confuses me. Even sinners? Who are those that aren’t sinners? I have never met such a person.
I think the OP means non believers.
You could presume he means mortal sinners.
Well since we are all, believers and non-believers alike, created by God, then my answer would be yes, God is found in everyone. Mortal/venial sin doesn’t change any of that.
The way I see it God is fully present everywhere because he is Omnipresent. So in that sense he is always “with” every one of us. But I think what the church is constantly calling us towards, is having God actually inside us by his Holy Spirit. So he is not simply watching us and loving us from outside ourselves, but instead he is within us. In confirmation there is actually a laying on of hands and a prayer for the (inner) filling of the Holy Spirit. Having God inside me rather than just hanging around near me makes a huge difference. I think that is what God is calling all of us to. Jesus said, the kingdom of God is within you. But I don’t think it’s automatic, I think we need to invite him in. Maybe he wants to be loved and wanted just like all of us.
I hope so becaus everybody is a sinner
yes God is in everyone. Even the most evil sinner.
St Teresa of Avila addressed this
Men are made in the image of God, according to Christian belief going back to the Bible. This is the sense, I expect, in which saint generally see God in someone. This deserves another explanation, God is present in people in four ways,
according to traditional Catholic teaching, by essence, by power, by presence, and by grace. As one theologian wrote.
“It is well to recall the explanation given by the Doctors of the Church of the words of Holy Scripture. They say that God is present and exists in all things “by His power in so far as all things are subject to His power; by His presence, inasmuch as all things are naked and open to His eyes; by His essence, inasmuch as He is present to all as the cause of their being” (St. Thomas, la, q. 8, a. 3). But God is in man, not only as in inanimate things, but because He is more fully known and loved by him, since even by nature we spontaneously love, desire, and seek after the good. Moreover, God by grace resides in the just soul as in a temple, in a most intimate and peculiar manner. From this proceeds that union of affection by which the soul adheres most closely to God, more so than the friend is united to his most loving and beloved friend, and enjoys God in all fullness and sweetness.” (Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, "The Three Ages of the Spiritual Life).
Obviously, a saint would not see God in a person in mortal sin though the grace that is in him. But, for one thing, as this points out, by nature there can still be good in him, there can still be hope for him.
Yes, God is in everyone. But for those in mortal sin, St. Teresa of Avila says,
The soul by sinning withdraws from this stream of life, and growing beside a black and fetid pool, can produce nothing but disgusting and unwholesome fruit.
Notice that it is not the fountain and the brilliant sun which lose their splendour and beauty, for they are placed in the very centre of the soul and cannot be deprived of their lustre. The soul is like a crystal in the sunshine over which a thick black cloth has been thrown, so that however brightly the sun may shine the crystal can never reflect it.
For those living in sin, they seem to not even acknowledge God attempting to work in their lives. They don’t reciprocate. God is handing out graces, precious gems, but they turn their backs. That’s what it looks like in the soul.
But for those in a state of grace, a beautiful thing happens. There’s a relationship. Both take joy in it. That’s how the souls grows and shines brighter and brighter. There’s no more fighting, no more hurt. And the soul gets brighter and brighter until grace overflows and those surrounding begin to notice it too, the way God is working in that soul. Because it shows.
I am aware that mortal sin is an individual consciously doing an act that he knows is against God’s will and thus separating himself from the source of life and by doing such has closed off the doorway of graces and until he reconciles and repents his actions will have no merit. However, that was not the question. A person may isolate himself from God but God is ever present and waiting to restore the relationship if we allow it. I am not asking if the Holy Spirit resides in him either. Let’s consider a non-Catholic, unbaptized person that is living an unchaste life with another. By the merit of the Lord’s desire for us to ‘go and preach the gospel’ and ‘proclaim the Kingdom’, when we encounter someone … His creation, created in His image, who has been put before us (perhaps by divine providence) should we recognize God in him. I think of Lazarus and the Rich Man. Nothing is said of the beggars morality, just that He was placed before the rich man to be helped and the rich man did not respond to God’s purpose for him. Maybe I should have asked 'Is God present even in Pagans? Thanks for replying.
I agree. But I was not asking about the nature or action of grace. Even someone covered in a veil as you put it has this ingrained longing to be with his creator, the need to love and be loved even if they pervert it. God is eternal and not confined to time and space. That person could be the greatest Christian, a future saint, if somehow we see God in him and treat him as a child of God. If a mustard seed were on the floor you might be tempted to sweep it away as dust unless you recognized it for what it was and planted it. So I guess my question is still open. Thanks for replying.
Your statement “Obviously, a saint would not see God in a person in mortal sin though the grace that is in him. But, for one thing, as this points out, by nature there can still be good in him, there can still be hope for him.” is in conflict with my quote from St Terese of Calcutta. She could not know the state of the soul of everyone she helped. She simply saw “hungry Jesus”, etc. To act because WE see hope for him is in itself sinful. We should act because this is what my God wants and I will do it because I love God and want to please the one I love. To love your neighbor as yourself. Remember the parable … ‘who is your neighbor?’ We don’t choose our neighbor, everyone is loved by God, even the prostitute and the tax collector.
God’s will is present everywhere, holding every atom together.
That’s not the same thing as God’s sanctifying life being present in everyone. Sanctifying grace is sharing in the divine life of the Trinity, being affected by His desires, His will, influenced by His charity, mercy.
My heart agrees. But I was hoping there was something theological or scriptural to back that up. So far No one has helped. Thanks for replying.