Wisdom Story – 134

From Tony de Mello, S.J.

The Master found it tiresome to speak with people who were forever bent on defending the existence of God or discussing His nature while they neglected the all-important task of self-awareness, which alone could bring them love and liberation.

To a group of people who asked him to speak to them of God, he said, “What you seek, alas, is to talk of God rather than see Him; and you see Him as you think he is, not as he actually is. For God is manifest, He is not hidden. Why talk? Open your eyes and see.”

Later he added, “Seeing is the easiest thing in the world. All you need to do is raise the shutters of your God-thoughts.”



  1. says

    This wisdom story is a good one for Epiphany. God is manifest. God is here. Stop taking photos for your scrapbook, or doing the pre/post/play-by-play analysis and watch! Better yet, reach out and touch Him.

    It reminds me of my youngest son, who was in Rome two years ago for Good Friday and the Stations of the Cross at the Coliseum. He was within a few feet of the Pope, but hasn’t a good picture to show for it. “I was too busy watching,” he told me later. He is wise!

    • Jim says

      This reminds me of all the times I’ve seen images of crowds of people at rock concerts, half of them with camera phones raised high. Camera phones? Really? Instead of appreciating the uniquely thrilling sights and sounds and collective experience of a live rock concert, you’re going to record it to listen to later, alone, with lousy camera work and poor audio/video quality?

      Your son is indeed wise!

  2. Simon says

    Very, very, true.

    Also a very good story to be told to the person sitting next to me at the cinema watching the Bond movie the other day, while holding a blow by blow commentary of the plot to her boyfriend/husband. AND she was noisily eating maltesers. I wouldn’t mind but she didn’t offer me one! :-)

    Have a great weekend everyone.

      • Jim says

        I decided to Google “Godde” to see what I could learn. Here’s an explanation from Shawna R. B. Atteberry for why she says “Godde” instead of “God.”

        Why Godde and not God? Godde is combination of God and Goddess to show that the Divine transcends gender: Godde is neither male nor female and both male and female since Godde created both men and women in the image of Godde. I believe that Godde is Mother as well as Father.

        In case anyone else is interested.

    • Paul says


      I’m not sure I want to live in silence. Some of the time, yes, but I’d sure miss the sound of people talking.


  3. Lynda says

    When I read this I had a couple of thoughts – the Ignatian way of finding God in all things and this quote from Richard Rohr: “Your image of God creates you.” We limit God by our finite minds. I agree with Michelle that we should reach out and touch God.

  4. Dolly says

    “Seeing is the easiest thing in the world. All you need to do is raise the shutters of your God-thoughts.”

    I had been fortunate to have attended some of Fr. de Mello’s lectures/seminars and what I have learned most is his echoing message about God as being The Other. In stillness…in silence…in contemplation, we become aware of who we are and who He is. He is completely the other who is beyond words and description. I cannot say it exactly the way he explained it, but the gist was that: every concept, every image that we have of God is a distortion of his reality. This quote of expresses best what I am trying to convey:

    “The genius of a composer is found in the notes of his music; but analyzing the notes will not reveal his genius. The poet’s greatness is contained in his words; yet the study of his words will not disclose his inspiration. God reveals himself in creation; but scrutinize creation as minutely as you wish, you will not find God, any more than you will find the soul through careful examination of your body.”
    ~Anthony de Mello, S.J.

    Thank you, Fr. Paul for this post. It brings back so many memories. Happy weekend to one and all!

  5. Jim says

    “If we can’t discover God in our lives, we’re probably not looking low enough.” — Hasidic Proverb

    Those were the Words of Wisdom when I opened today’s entry.

  6. Katy says

    “Raise the shutters of my God-thoughts”. My immediate response is “help”. “Teach me how”.
    So many of you who post here seem to me so more in tune with God that sometimes I feel out of my depth. I thought I was being profound when I was reading a hymn entitled “LISTEN” and suddenly realised the anagram in there of SILENT. Yes, I need to learn how to be “silent” and to “listen with my heart”.

    Have a good weekend everyone. Could I ask prayers please for safety of husband’s job as he is waiting for news.


    • Lynda says

      You and your husband will be in my prayers. Katy, please don’t judge yourself by what you see in other people. Appearances can be deceiving and besides, God only wants and needs you to be you. We are all on this journey together and we all need each other. God bless.

      • Dolly says

        Katy, for what it is worth, I am sharing this quote that has helped me greatly:
        “Don’t sow your desires in someone else’s garden; just cultivate your own as best as you can; don’t long to be other than what you are, but desire to be thoroughly what you are. Direct your thoughts to being very good at that and bearing the crosses, little or great, that you will find there. Believe me, this is the most important and least understood point to the spiritual life. We all love according to what is our taste; few people like what is according to their duty or to God’s liking. What is the use of building castles in Spain when we have to live in France?”
        ~St. Francis de Sales

        I will hold your intention in my daily prayer….

  7. says


    My daughter was playing a game today and she was trying to find the mushroom in the game…she was being goofy and kept repeating, “I can’t find the mushroom, Mommy…” to which I replied “because you haven’t opened your heart to the mushroom, you will find the mushroom if you look with your heart.” That was her Wisdom Story of the day. It all starts at the heart, now, hopefully she will hang on to that for something real. :)

  8. Emma says

    I can’t say I agree with this one. I, for one, love talking about and hearing stories about those I love. When I think of how God has worked in my life, I am so amazed by it all that I can’t help but talk about it. I also can’t help but want to know more! knowing that I can never know all, yet always hungering for more. If it was wrong for us to want to know, there would be no need for Richard Rohr, de Mello, Merton or any of the rest. They also overflow and speak of God. By all means, spend time in silence, but it seems as if the master in this case is rather arrogant in his response. To share the love of Christ, it’s necessary to speak of Him. To learn, we must first be told. There are those who use their knowledge and lord it over others, that’s true, but I don’t think people who sincerely ask to hear of God should be made to look like fools because they ask. They are the truly humble. Not the “master ” who criticizes them.

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