Conversing with God

Conversing with God

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By Frei Betto

In the magazine "Caros amigos" of April this year I published the article "Conversing with the devil". Now the conversation is higher ...

In the magazine "Caros amigos" of April this year I published the article "Conversing with the devil". Now the conversation is higher ...

- Do you think there is still room for me?

- What a question, my God! Do you feel insecure? Have you read the financial market indices?

- It is that things on Earth change at a speed difficult to follow. Before I was known as the Creator. You thanked me for the cycle of the seasons, the fruits of the earth, the rain and the winds, the waters of the rivers and the fish of the sea. Like a full table, I created nature for your good.

- Yes, sir, I know we abused your offer. At the beginning we took out of it what was necessary for survival. So that there was no shortage, we respected their rhythms. Then we discovered how to reproduce nature: we invented agriculture and livestock. And what had use value became exchange value. Our ambition for wealth transformed the gift into merchandise.

- What do you do with the intelligence I gave you? God replied. What devil of scientific advance is this that gave rise to the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, capable of causing mass destruction? Don't you see that you are destroying the biosphere?

- Sorry sir. We are involved in a paradox: our economic growth does not benefit the poor and ends in environmental degradation.

- Before you were subject to nature, observed God. There was a close relationship between humans and their natural environment. It was a case of love. Now the process is reversed: you have acquired the power to subdue nature.

- Wasn't that what you wanted? On the sixth day of creation, are we not commanded to dominate the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and the reptiles that crawl on the land?

- Mastering is one thing; rape or rape is another, God reacted. You have gone too far: you poisoned rivers and seas, polluted the atmosphere and now interfere with the chemical processes that determine organic aging and technologically manipulate genetic processes. Where do they intend to go? Do you want to create human life in the laboratory and achieve immortality?

- We are driven by profit, sir. Anything that multiplies money is an obsession for us.

- Do you only know how to conjugate the verbs add and multiply? And subtract and divide? How are the poor left? God objected.

- Ending the hunger of the poor does not pay dividends, but cloning living beings is synonymous with great fortune. Before, politics ran the economy; now economics submits politics and corners ethics.

- Don't you see that the economy is upside down ?, exclaimed God.

- Explain it better, sir.

- Never has so much been produced with so few producers. State-of-the-art technology replaced direct work, condemning millions of families to informality in the service sector and many others to misery. The violence went global. The dynamics of capital causes exacerbated competitiveness. Islands of wealth and prosperity are surrounded by hunger and hardship on all sides. Don't you realize that you are promoting the flood and, this time, without an ark that can save you?

- It is true, Lord, our whole social life is contaminated by commodification. Contrary to the ancients, we no longer have a morality that serves as the root of our worldview. I don't even know if we have a vision of the world. The limit of our horizon is the television screen. Today we live in a pluralistic society, where religion is also transformed into a consumer article, and ethics is crumbling as the basis for a way of thinking and acting common to all. Each one looks for himself and God for none.

- Despite this, I continue to bet on everyone, God sighed. I am a Father, but I am not patronizing. I will not interfere again in human history, as I did when I sent my Son. I gave them a heavenly world, a garden. You spoiled almost everything: you polluted the lakes, cut down the trees, hunted the birds, destroyed the grass, dried up the springs. Now they try to remedy it. Finding ontological foundations for ethical and political principles capable of regulating social and personal life. The social cohesion derived from the official coercion promoted by the State makes no sense. I created them free, to the point of being able to reject myself and close to my gifts. If they do not regain freedom with the weapons of justice, the spiral of violence will only tend to grow.

I resumed the beginning of the dialogue:

- Why do you ask if there is still room for your presence? Don't you see that the world is getting more and more religious? Churches, temples, cults, sects, esoteric movements proliferate. Atheism loses faithful, faith is more alive than ever.

- That's not the space I'm looking for, God replied. Religion also becomes a source of profit and power. My question is another: is there room for me in the human heart? Is my will what people seek? Or are they driven by vanity, by ambition, by selfishness? Who is capable of recognizing me in the face of the one who is hungry, the one who is oppressed or excluded?

- I'll be honest, sir. In that sense, there is not much space. Our hearts forget to pray, to have compassion, to promote the gesture of solidarity. I fear that, having broken communion with nature, we are now dividing the human family. And by the way, our harmony with the Lord.

- Yes, you praise me with your lips but not with your heart. They worship me, but they don't let the oppressed go free. They love the appearance more than the gift.

I was concerned:

- Are you going to let us drift? Are you going to suppress your work, to reduce Creation to nothing?

- No way. As stupid as they are, I don't stop loving them. Nor do I intend to abandon them. You will have to learn from your own mistakes. I just hope it's not too late.

Before he left I asked:

- Sir, in case you want to find it, where should I look for it?

- You don't need to go far, he said with a hint of irony. A babble in your inner world is enough. I'm on the back side of your heart But I prefer that you find me in the face of those who suffer.

* Translation of J: L: Burguet. 2-8-05

Video: Episode 1: Guide Us to the Straight Path. Conversing with God - Quranic Duas (June 2022).