I will now present an outline for my treatment of how God reveals Himself to us and what that means to us as responsive creatures.
The ways that God reveals Himself to us will be presented in order of the intimacy with which God makes contact with us beginning with the least and ending with the most intimate of revelation.
With each level of revelation that one receives there are greater and greater responsibilities for the person to respond to God. “With great knowledge comes great responsibilities.” The more knowledge that we gain from God’s revelation the more responsible that we become in having to respond to Him and share that revelation to others.
The first level of revelation is Creation in General:
God is the creator of all that is in existence. We only have existence in that we are participating in the creation of God. The only true Being is God and He has created us as participants in that being. If we view creation in this way then whatever is created, everything around us is an expression of the divine being of God.
The second level of revelation is Creation in Particular (People):
God speaks to us through others, just as God is relationship within Himself in the Trinity so we are created as creatures in relationship with one another. God has used people as His prophets, His priests and His councilors from the beginning, each one of us is a gift of God for the other.
The third level of revelation is Prayer/Contemplation:
Of course we encounter God in our prayer life, that is exactly what it is for.
The fourth level of revelation is Sacred Scripture:
The fullness of revelation has come to us in the person of Jesus the Christ, sacred scripture is the communication of that revelation to us. Scripture tells the story of Salvation History and brings us face to face with the God/man, Christ our Lord.
The fifth and most intimate level of revelation is the Sacraments of The Church:
The very nature of the sacraments bring us into the closest contact to God that we can experience here on earth. God “comes to us” in the sacraments and gives us spiritual gifts that allows us to draw nearer to Him than we could ever hope to without them.
As a disclaimer I must say that my sister, the theologian not the chef, has argued that the revelation of God through scripture should trump that of the sacraments since we are talking about God revealing Himself in the Son. At many levels I would have to agree with her but as I am trying to rate these on the intimacy with God and the levels of response required on our part, I felt it reasonable to place the sacraments where they are.
The next installment we will begin our discussion on how God reveals Himself through His creation.
Your servant in Christ,