"The more fully God is present, the more fully we are human" (p186)
I like this phrase. I like it because it resonates with the ideal of education namely human flourishing. I like it because it is a litmus test for real religion. We have all experienced it, a situation where humanity is at its best. Responding in compassion to a crisis. Taking life risks rescuing someone. Lavish charity to help someone. When we live at peace with each other. When we honour one another and truly offer each other grace. Yes, when we are at our best, God is fully present.
Now consider the opposite, when in the name of religion we control and devalue individuals, when we respond in judgement and exclude, when we are violent and take life with no thought for our actions. In the name of religion, a different kind of god is present.
So how do we live and practice our faith towards human flourishing?
Well, one such practice is prayer and I like how it is presented here:
"I do most of my prayer in dialogue with other people" (p195)
I like this but I admit, I don't know what this looks like? I hope I have lived this, perhaps without even knowing it, but I aspire to live my faith in such a way that it is intricately linked to my faith and humanity. My prayer is only 'fully God present' when in my conversation with others, I seek their flourishing. And the reality of this dialogue is the most illuminated among those I don't like.