Catholic Teachings - O'Brien: Can we know God?

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Can we know God at least to some extent through natural reason? Yes. What we learn as our natural knowledge can be led by sensible things. Natural reason tells us that a greater power than ourselves brought the world into existence. The use of sight, sound and touch, for example, lead us to accept this. What God has done and does -- as we grasp to some extent -- we can fathom a bit though the knowledge of what we see in existence shows that in the natural order the sensible effects of God do not equal the power of God as their cause. Thus we can learn whether God exists and come to realize that He is the first cause of all things, and as St. Thomas Aquinas adds "exceeding all things caused by Him. God is known by natural knowledge through the images of His effects. We can, through reason, not know what a thing is but it can know whether it is.

The Bible in the book of Wisdom tells us: "Yes, naturally stupid are all men who have not known God and who, from the good things that are seen, have not been able to discover Him-who-is, or by studying the works, have failed to recognize the Artificer....If, charmed by their beauty, they have taken things for gods, let them know how much the Lord of these excels them, since the very Author of beauty has created them. And if they have been impressed by their power and energy, let them deduce from these how much mightier is he that has formed them, since through the grandeur and beauty of the creatures we may, by analogy, contemplate their author." (Excerpts from chapter l3)

St. Teresa's corner: The teacher was looking at the pictures the first graders were drawing. She asked one little girl, "Who is that?" The tiny tot answered, "God." "You can't draw God's picture. Nobody knows what God looks like." " They will in a minute."