It is not just enough to know about God. Holiness is tied to a deep and intimate knowledge of God, a loving familiarity with our Lord in which we have internalized who He is.
It is similar to getting to know and love another human being. To love another person, such as a wife or husband, we must spend time with them. It is important that we know the details of their life, but these are not in and of themselves sufficient for a relationship. To have a relationship with a person, we must experience them by entering attentively into their presence.
However, God is beyond our natural abilities. His transcendence is beyond our ability to comprehend, and his immediate presence is a mystery that is impossible to fully grasp. For this reason, God came to us in the person of Jesus Christ. He became man so that we might come to know, love, and serve God. But we do not serve God by following set of rules (though rules are important). Rather, we know, love, and serve God by “becoming God.”Through the sacraments, we are called to participate in God’s life and are transformed by His grace.
The height of our experience of God is the liturgy. In the Mass, we enter into the Truine life of God, and we encounter our God. This encounter leads us to a deep knowledge of God, one which incorporates all of our natural faculties. This encounter is two-fold. It involves the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
The Liturgy of the Word is primarily adapted to our intellect. Through our faculty of hearing, the Word of God is able to enter into the heart through the readings and through song. The Word of God is then opened to the listener by the preaching of the Priest. This education is not merely a copy of other forms of schooling. Rather it is a divine pedagogy in which we do not merely think about Salvation History, but rather we enter into Salvation through the proclamation of the Word.
The Liturgy of the Eucharist is adapted to our need for nutrition. The Eucharist uses our need for nourishment as an encounter with God in which He gives us His body as food and His blood as drink. We receive the fullness of God’s life through the transformation of common elements, bread and wine, each of which contain deep meaning. Bread is the work of human hands, and God takes our work and unites it to His Divinity. Wine brings joy and lightness to the human heart, and God is the new wine who is the source of true happiness.
The Liturgy is the place of encounter, an encounter that opens us to the mystery of God’s love.