MOSAIC Spring 2017 - Page 8

HOW TO Personally ENCOUNTER GOD What is the difference between an emotional encounter and a spiritual encounter? The saints explain. Dr. Elizabeth Salas E NCOUNTERING A PERSON FOR THE FIRST TIME— ESPECIALLY A DYNAMIC, ATTRACTIVE, OR COMPEL- LING PERSON—IS EXCITING. INDEED, “ENCOUNTER” SUGGESTS A SPONTANEOUS OR UNEXPECTED MEETING BETWEEN TWO PERSONS THAT LEAVES A DEEP EMO- TIONAL IMPRESSION, EVEN A MESSAGE OR REALIZATION UNIQUE TO THAT MOMENT. Beyond just knowing about a person, encountering a person seems to be deeply intimate, even inexplicable. An encoun- ter of the soul with Jesus may be yet more intense, since he knows us “in our inmost being.” But to capture Christ, personally and deeply within us, requires a soul willing to mature in its encounter. The “Felt” Encounter Since we are embodied souls, we natu- rally seek an encounter with God that we can feel—an emotional encounter. God created us like this; indeed, our faith is sacramental because our senses lead us to all the knowledge we are capable of acquir- ing. Because we delight in our senses, we want to taste, touch, and experience God 6 bubbling within us. We want to cry holy tears, to feel inner joy. Often, such an encounter is had when we receive unexpected mercy, unexpected welcome, or see God’s providence at work starkly, suddenly. We “feel” God when, lonely in some hidden way, we realize we are in fact not alone. Or, faced with a failing relationship, we realize God’s arms are always open. God, who seems far off, “comes down” to our hearts. There is nothing more pleasurable to us than this “feeling” of God, and such an experience can be the “door” to a life that is lastingly spiritual. However, we must not confuse an emo- tional encounter with a personal encoun- ter. Because of concupiscence, our senses are greedy, turned inward. We want to Sacred Heart M "6V֖'627&r#p&VƗ6FR( fVN( V6VFW"vR&VƗ6v@vR&vWBWBb"7&GVƗG( GFRV7W&R 6W72FB7&GVƗG&GV6W>( G&FW FFRvfW"6VbvWGFr&WBVF0vVVF2'VvvRFVBFFvR&RVFR66RFvBWfVআǒ7&GVƗG6VV2V7B6FVV7GVv&W"'B6VV27WW"ЦfVW2vR6RFFRBvW&RvP6( B&VBr'F6R"V"ЦǒFB2F66"vVvGFVv66FVv&W2'WBFVFPFV6w2bFR6W&6BbFRw&V@66"6G26B&R6V6FV@67W&FVǒFW"6V2BvR&R7GRЦǒF7F6VBg&vB&VfW"V6rVFFVG0FFRV6R7&F66BF66W&ЦVN( FFrFBvVBFVfW"Чf.( GVFW"FR&WFWBb&V6WFfG V֖ƗGFW2WG&&F'VV7V62FwVW2&RvVW&ǒ66WFV@vFWB7&F66rW27&GVǐgVW&&R7BbFR7&72w&FW2FB7V6VV( FRFWf&GVǒVFFW06g&VVǒFB&VƖWfRB76&Rf"