St. Augustine said that “If you understand it, then it is not God”. All religious language is necessarily metaphorical, which has a much better chance of leading us toward the mystical and experiential knowledge of God. St John of the Cross said that “God refuses to be known by the mind, and can only be known by love”. This is both a major humiliation for us and a major invitation. God cannot be known as we know any other object of knowledge, but demands from us an entirely different operating system.
Fr Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province. He lives in a hermitage behind his Franciscan community – the Center for Action and Contemplation – in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he presently serves as founding director.