Image and Likeness
There is No Fear in Love

Some of my earliest memories include stories about an angry God. I still hear people say they have the fear of God. 

I never understood this. Something inside me always knew that God isn't like that at all. 

I spent a great deal of time in church as a child. First, with the Franciscan sisters in Italy for 3 years, and then, when we arrived in Canada, I continued going to church, even by myself if I had to. When we moved to another area of town three  years later, I joined the local church and got involved again. I joined the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) and we were very active in the community. We had monthly variety shows that we put on for the elderly. We visited the sick in the hospital, and we formed a community of young people who cared about issues and took a stand. I was in the choir on Sunday mornings, and was even Carnival Princess in 1975! At the same time, I had a solid, Christ-like example in my good friend and mentor, Father André Gagné, the chaplain of our High School. It was good all around, and all I ever knew about God is good. Actually, it was great. There was no fear involved, only love. 

The only evil I ever saw was from people, not from God. Sure, many people do horrible things in the name of God. But as far as I know, God wants mercy, not sacrifice. And at the same time, nothing we can do will make us better or worse in God's eyes. S/He loves us, regardless, unconditionally, completely. We find that hard to understand because most of us are not like that. 

We twisted the "image and likeness" that we share with God. We attribute our low characteristics to God, instead of seeking to discover God's noble ones in us.

There is no angry God. We are the angry, vengeful, hurtful children who forgot how to play together. We do things for our own selfish reasons, and when things go wrong, instead of taking responsibility for it, we blame anything, anyone, even God. It's easier that way.

We say that we have faith but how do we live it? Fear is the opposite of faith. We live in such fear that we live in prisons that we build around ourselves. They have invisible bars, but they are the strongest. Since they're invisible, we don't realize that we are in prison, and that's the saddest part. Fear makes us all prisoners, and we have ourselves to thank for it. We did this. We do it every day.

Every time that we witness something that disturbs us, we feed our fear. We make the invisible bars stronger. And who can blame us? We don't have to look hard to find sources of doom - they're everywhere. From religion to psychology to politics to media to education to entertainment, just to name a few. Negative energy is coming at us from everywhere; small wonder we're all depressed.  

But there is a way. It's called Faith, and if you really are a believer, nothing can harm you because you know that there is a bigger picture than what you see.

Often, when I hear a story about someone who changed their life drastically, it was following something major. It may have been an accident, a disease, a death, or some other great loss. Something so big that it made them look at their life.

Why do we need shocks to our system to wake us up? 

Life is so amazing, and yet we take it for granted. It seems we're sleepwalking through life, and we're shocked into awareness only when something drastic happens. 

Why are we so evolved in destructive ways, and mainly ignorant in good ways? 

Why aren't the resources that are used to promote war - used to promote peace, understanding, and knowledge instead? After countless wars, and the cycles of war that never seem to end, can we honestly say that we want peace?

We're so technologically evolved that we can destroy the whole planet in minutes. 

We're so primitive in our thinking, that we might actually do it. 

That's scary. Not God, people are scary! People who have the finger on the trigger that can blow up the whole world!

Is this evolution?

Science says that our brain is more powerful than any computer. 

Surveys say that the vast majority of people all over the world believe in God. 

If this is true, then let's prove it. 

Let's learn about, discover and unleash God's Image and Likeness. 

We have the brainpower, and we have the faith. What's stopping us? 

When the splendor of the true Image and Likeness of God is released from inside every one of us, we will see the Kingdom of God. 

We will see that it's been here, on earth, all along.

Wishing only well,

Carmen Colombo

March 2000

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