People often ask me why the title of my blog is in Spanish – especially people who know I don’t speak more than about 10 words in that language.
I did explain the origin of the name in a post I did during my first week of blogging, but that was almost six years ago, so I thought I’d share again the answer to that question:
I pondered about what to title this blog. (Titles have never been my strong point.) I realized I wanted something simple, yet foundational. And what is more foundational than the first line of the Creed – I believe in God. Yet what I titled the blog was not the line in my native English, but “Creo en Dios!”, the actual words my lips form every time the priest holds up the cup during the consecration. They have been forming those words ever since I re-read Thomas Merton’s Seven-Story Mountain about seven years ago. [Seven when I first wrote this – not almost 14.]
In Seven-Story Mountain, Merton describes what is clearly one of his foundational religious experiences. It occurred while he was attending a Mass in Havana in around 1940. The rows in the front of the church were filled with children. At the moment of the consecration, the voices of the children joyfully rang out, “Creo en Dios!” Hearing that, Merton was struck by a deep realization of what had just taken place on the altar – a realization of God made present. The realization, he says, was to tangible that it struck him “like a thunderclap.” He felt as if he “had been suddenly illumined by being blinded by the manifestation of God’s presence.” His first articulate thought: here is Heaven, right in front of me.
Creo en Dios. I believe in God. Not a God way out there somewhere, but God present, right here, right now.
No brief description here can capture Merton’s beautiful telling of this experience. If you don’t own a copy of Seven-Story Mountain, you can read the portion to which I am referring here.