The Incomprehensible Greatness of God


Who has measured with his palm the waters,

marked off the heavens with a span,
held in his fingers the dust of the earth,
weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
Who has directed the spirit of the LORD,
or instructed him as his counselor?
Whom did he consult to gain knowledge?
Who taught him the path of judgment,
or showed him the way of understanding?

See, the nations count as a drop in the bucket,
as a wisp of cloud on the scales;
the coastlands weigh no more than a speck.
The one who is enthroned above the vault of the earth,
its inhabitants like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a veil
and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
To whom can you liken me as an equal?
says the Holy One.

(Isaiah 40:12-15, 22, 25)


An elephant was enjoying a dip in a jungle pool when a rat came up to insist that he get out.

“I won’t ,” said the elephant.

“I insist you get out this minute,” said the rat.


“I shall tell you that only after you are out of the pool.”

“Then I won’t get out.”

But he finally lumbered out of the pool, stood in front of the rat and said, “Now then, why did you want me to get out of the pool?”

“To check if you were wearing my swimming trunks,” said the rat.

An elephant will sooner fit into the trunks of a rat than God into our notions of him.

(Anthony de Mello, S.J. in The Song of the Bird)

[Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.]

Photo by Esculapio (Own work (personal work)) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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One Response to The Incomprehensible Greatness of God

  1. Kristen Harrison says:

    What a beautiful passage. Thank you for sharing.

    Sent from my iPhone

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