What is the meaning of “Quaerere Deum, invenire beatidudinem?” What is the Giskim Project about? And who is responsible? Get your answers here.
When theological disputes rocked the Christian community to which I had belonged for many years, I came up with the most glorious idea to settle some questions I had. I resolved to read the earliest Church Fathers to see how they understood the faith. Well, I shouldn’t have done that if I had wanted to maintain my comfortable spiritual life with its polished edges and neatly sorted theological boxes. The works of the Church Fathers shook me to the core. Their views were so different, so radical, so untamed, and so imbued with an overwhelming desire for true union with the living God that the blazing fire of their love for God set me on fire as well and turned my life upside down.
They showed me a God who does not fit into our systems and boxes, but is a consuming fire that intends to take over our whole being and raise it to himself. To put this God into words is impossible, and it is even more impossible to comprehend him, as Gregory of Nazianzus once put it. We may only approach him in a symbolic manner; we recognize him, so to speak, through signs and images, because his infinite reality is too inexpressible and too unknowable for us finite creatures.
This is also indicated by the name Giskim, which is Sumerian for “sign,” “signal” and “omen.” (I chose Sumerian, because — among other things — it reminds me that God was there long before his self-revelation in Judaism and Christianity, and, beyond that, will always remain the same unshakable, inexplicable, incomparable God). He is. In eternity.
Twenty-four of these men of God, whose works I have begun to read little by little — from the beginnings of the Church to the early modern period — spoke to me in particular. They went on to become the spiritual fathers of Giskim, from Ignatius of Antioch to Francis de Sales (see more here). My choice for them is subjective. Some great names are missing, some other more unknown ones have stayed with me.
“Quaerere Deum, invenire Beatidudinem” — seeking God, finding happiness — has become my motto, modeled after the desire of the Fathers for God. This is the message of Giskim I seek to put forth, mainly aimed at a German-speaking audience: Real (and not just imagined) communion with the God of life is the greatest thing we can strive for in our lives.