Thursday, March 8, 2012

practice the presence of God

Jeremiah 17:5-10; Ps Blessed are they who hope in the Lord Luke 16:19-31

One of the key factors to the spiritual life is practicing the presence of God. It is important to begin to deepen and pray for the grace that we may deepen our sense of God's presence daily our life.

As St. Paul reminds us in the Acts of the Apostles, God is not far from each of us. God is near.

We must call to mind daily that the world depends at every moment on the divine will. God is behind everything that exist. The world is not governed by blind fate.

There are two convictions we must carry with us through each day: God is present in all things (divine omnipotence) and that God is behind all events (Divine providence). This give us a new way of being in the world.

The world is not dominated by dark evil forces. It is something good that comes from the goodness of God who holds it all in the palm of his hands.

We must begin to accustom ourselves to seeing God in and through the daily unfolding of life. We are in his presence.

St. John of the Cross said that creatures are "like a trace of the footstep of God." St. Teresa of Avila, "the lord also walks among the pots and pans."

Each day we must create a habit by repeated acts, returning to the fundamental conviction: God sees me and God is behind all things and events, that is, God has got my back."

How easily we are distracted in life though. How do we recall to mind this reality?

This is where little short prayers, or aspirations help guide our awareness of God's presence.

Throughout the day we can simply repeat, "Christ, have mercy or Lord, have mercy." OR we can simple say, "Lord, help me! or Lord increase my faith or Lord, open my eyes to you."

Just little small one liner prayers can deepen our awareness and brings us back from the many distractions that abound.

Something I like to pray is a single part of the Hail MAry, "blessed is the fruit of your womb, JEsus" or "The word became flesh and dwelt amongst us." These help me stay focused or refocused or at least not completely distracted.

Simple one liners; these prayers can be helpful.

This way that interior monologue that we carry on daily can become an interior dialogue with God. We move from talking to ourselves to speaking to the one who is love. Life becomes filled with the brightness of the divine.

This way we can slowly bring remedy to that heart as Jeremiah describes in the first reading, "More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it. The lord alone probes the mind and test the heart."

If only the rich man in the gospel would have developed a habit of living int he presence of God then perhaps he would have noticed the poor man Lazarus at his very gate. Deepening our awareness of God opens our eyes to see him face to face in the many faces we see on a regular basis.

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