It is especially during moments of doubt and affliction, that all Christians know where and how to find God and obtain relief for their souls. Prayer, whether mental or vocal, is where we have the certainty of finding God, as he himself has promised us: ‘where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’ (Mt 18:17). The Most High is always disposed to hear us and attend to our necessities. At any moment we can put our soul in contact with him, all we have to do is recollect ourselves in the midst of our daily cares, and direct a plea to him, and he speaks to us mysteriously in the depths of our heart and our conscience.
This idea, which sounds so natural to us, seems to clash with the affirmation: ‘You never know where and how you will find God’ since ‘you are not setting the time and place of the encounter with him’. Has God changed his way of reacting to our requests? Is there a new way of encountering God?
We need to clarify concepts.
Because God is first; God is always first and makes the first move. God is a bit like the almond flower of your Sicily, Antonio, which always blooms first. We read it in the Prophets. God is encountered walking, along the path. At this juncture, someone might say that this is relativism. Is it relativism? Yes, if it is misunderstood as a kind of indistinct pantheism. It is not relativism if it is understood in the biblical sense, that God is always a surprise, so you never know where and how you will find him. You are not setting the time and place of the encounter with him. You must, therefore, discern the encounter. Discernment is essential. (Interview with Antonio Spadaro, August 19, 2013)
[Francis]: Because it contradicts the very dynamic of how to become and continue being Christian. The Church is not a soccer team looking for fans.(Interview with Avvenire, November 18, 2016 – English summary)
Enter the various parts of our study
I – God takes the initiative, but he demands our cooperation and help
II – God gave us the means to find Him easily