ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

Celebrating 50 years | God • World • Human Family • Church

The Hand of God

The Hand of God is present in our daily lives, often more than we realize – just as it is in our work at CNEWA.

In Psalm 31 the Psalmist cries: “Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O Lord, O faithful God…. But my trust is in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ In your hands is my destiny; rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.”

In hand: 1. In one’s immediate, grasp or possession. 2. Under control. 3. In process of execution.

In the press of our daily personal concerns, in seeking solutions to the weighty problems of human society, in our anxiety to achieve justice in the midst of oppression, in the quest for peace, we sometimes forget to leave things in the hands of God and to trust that “he has the whole wide world in his hands.”

Evenhanded: Treating all alike; impartial.

A famous Crusader slogan was “Deus lo vult,” God wills it. Whether with the same or similar words, explicitly or implicitly, Christians and Jews, Muslims and Hindus – all believers – have at times invoked God on their side in the midst of human struggles and rivalries. Why should the one Father of us all favor any of his children over the others?

To keep one’s hand in: To continue an activity or interest so as not to lose skill or knowledge.

How long did it take God to create the world? Often amid the different points of view there is an underlying presumption that the Lord made the world and then flung it out to spin like a top on its merry way. We may well be living our lives in that spirit as well. We need to remember that he still has his finger in our human pie, that he still has his hand in the affairs of this, our troubled world.

Openhanded: Giving freely; liberal.

Would you believe that some of the criticisms our charitable work receives are: “Why are you helping them? They’re not one of us,” and “What do you get out of it? What’s in it for you?” The lesson of the parable of the laborers in the vineyard is that the Lord is generous and free to do as he wishes – and that we followers of Jesus must imitate the Lord’s liberality.

To lay hands on: 1. To seize violently, do physical harm to. 2. To bless, consecrate, ordain, etc.

A prayer I learned in my seminary days still lives in my heart: “Lord, come and possess me. Take hold of my faculties. Immolate my selfishness. Shape my life according to your ideals. Impress yourself on my soul. Work in me. Shine through me. Make me a light and savior in union with all the saints for the glory of the Father. From your generosity let me learn to keep giving – the world to God, God to the world, and myself to both.”

Msgr. Robert L. Stern, Secretary General of CNEWA

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