logo burning flame
homeBooksAuthorsTopicsLearnContact
logo burning flame
Wednesday - Twenty-fourth Week after Pentecost

The practice of the presence of God


Image for Morning Meditations
Morning Meditations

Saint Alphonsus

The most perfect way of living in the Divine Presence is to consider God present within us. We need not ascend to Heaven to find God. We shall find Him within ourselves. Know ye not that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? St. Teresa writes: For myself, I confess I never knew what it was to pray with satisfaction till our Lord taught me this way, and I have always found great advantages from this custom of recollection and entering within myself."

I. The most perfect way of living in the Divine presence is to consider God present within us. We need not ascend to Heaven to find God. We shall find Him within ourselves. Know ye not that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? St. Teresa writes: For myself I confess I never knew what it was to pray with satisfaction till our Lord taught me this way, and I have always found great advantages from this custom of recollection and entering within myself." We must know of course that God is present in us, in a manner different from that in which He is present in other creatures; in us God is present as in His own temple and His own house. Know you not, says the Apostle, that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Cor. iii. 16). Hence our Saviour says, that into a soul that loves God, He comes with the Father and Holy Ghost, not to remain there for a short time, but to dwell in it forever, and there to establish an everlasting habitation. If any one love me... my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him (Jo. xiv. 23).

The kings of the earth, though they have their great palaces, have, notwithstanding, their particular apartments in which they generally live. God is in all places; His presence fills Heaven and earth; but He dwells in a particular manner in our souls, and there, as He Himself tells us by the mouth of the Apostle, He delights to remain as in so many gardens of pleasure. I will dwell in them, and walk among them, and I will be their God (2 Cor. vi. 16). There He wishes us to love Him and to pray to Him: for He remains in us full of love and mercy, to hear our supplications, to receive our affections, to enlighten us, to govern us, to bestow on us His gifts, and to assist us in all that can contribute to our eternal salvation.

II. Let us often endeavour to enliven our Faith in the great truth that God is present in our souls, and let us annihilate ourselves at the sight of the great majesty that condescends to dwell within us; and let us also be careful to make acts at one time of confidence, at another of oblation, and again of love of His infinite goodness; now thanking Him for His favours, at another time rejoicing in His glory; and again asking counsel in our doubts; consoling ourselves always in the possession of this Sovereign Good within us, certain that no created power can deprive us of Him, and that He will never depart from us unless we first voluntarily banish Him.

This was the little cell that St. Catharine of Sienna built within her heart, in which she lived always retired, always engaged in loving colloquies with God; thus she defended herself against the persecution of her parents, who had forbidden her to retire any more to her own room for the purpose of praying. And in this little cell the Saint made greater progress than she did by retiring to her room; for she would have to leave her chamber several times a day, while this interior cell she never left, but remained in it always recollected with God. Hence St. Teresa, speaking of the Divine presence in our interior, said: "I believe that they who are able to lock themselves up in this little heaven in their souls, where He Who created them is always present, walk in an excellent path, because they make great progress in a short time."

Topics in this meditation:

Suggest a Topic

Enjoyed your reading? Share with a friend...

previous

The presence of God preserves from sin

Tuesday - Twenty-fourth Week after Pentecost