“… is the problem of prayer not the problem of God? People feel that if only they could be a bit clearer about who or what God is they would see more sense in praying to him. Now I am afraid it is going to have to be the other way round. The problem of God is the problem of prayer. Now I am not saying this in a pietistic tone of voice: all these intellectual problems would just go away if you all got down on your knees and prayed a bit more. I am saying that maybe the way we understand God is as ‘whatever makes sense of prayer’. I would say: we understand God as the other end of the personal relationship which is prayer, except that this might take us back into seeing prayer as a ‘personal relationship’ with a god, which would bypass the passion of Christ. In the end I suppose I want to say that God is what makes sense of prayer because God is what makes sense of Christ.
“What do I mean by saying that God is what makes sense of Christ? The gospels as I have said on many occasions insist upon two antithetical truths which express the tragedy of the human condition: the first is that if you do not love you will not be alive; the second is that if you do love you will be killed. If you cannot love you remain self-enclosed and sterile, unable to create a future for yourself or others, unable to live. If, however, you do effectively love you will be a threat to the structures of domination upon which our human society rests and you will be killed.”
“…. The life and death of Jesus dramatise this state of affairs.”
Herbert McCabe, God Matters (London / New York: Continuum, 1987, 2005), pp. 217-18.