Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Practice of the Presence of God

I read this post Faith and Reason at louange de sa gloire and the reference made to the Carmelite ideal of living in the presence of God at all times is timely as I just read the below excerpt from one of Father Bruno Cocuzzi, OCD homilies.

"There is an exercise of soul, closely akin to Mental Prayer, which is compatible with the faithful fulfillment of our daily duties and which renders us receptive to the influence of the Holy Spirit. It is the practice of the Presence of God. Since we have likened Mental Prayer to the spontaneous, informal, loving encounter of two well-beloved spouses, we can compare the practice of the Presence of God to the activity of mind and heart of a young housewife as she goes about her work in the home while her husband is away during the day.

Because she lives in his house and is entrusted with the care of it, and especially because she is responsible for the care of the children, a young housewife is keenly aware of her estate, that is, of her relationship to her spouse. He is indirectly present to her because of her immediate concern with persons and things that have a direct or indirect bearing upon him. He is present to her memory because she can’t help thinking of how he looks, of the sound of his voice, of his touch, etc. He is present to her intellect when she adverts to certain facts concerning him: he is so handsome; he is so kind and affectionate toward the children; he is such a hard, unselfish worker. Then, when the nature of her work absorbs her mind completely, when she cannot be mindful of him, she keeps him present to her will by applying herself to the task at hand with diligence for love of him. It is the last named means which can always be practiced, and which escapes the ability of no one.

The practice of the Presence of God, then, is the deliberate effort to keep God and related things present to our faculties of mind and heart. First of all it requires that we remind ourselves at stated times during the day that we are the children of God, co-heirs with Jesus Christ of the Kingdom of Heaven. We have to keep in mind that, even though we may own things outright, that we are stewards in God’s household. In particular, we have to get into the habit of seeing all persons as children of God for whose salvation and spiritual welfare we are to some degree responsible. We keep in the presence of God by remembering what we have read or heard concerning Him, by recalling images and incidents taken from the Gospels. Having sacred images in the home is a great help in this regard. We keep God present, too, by means of our intellect, when we make acts of Faith: God loves me; Jesus died for me, gave me Himself as my spiritual sustenance, gave me His own Mother; the Cross is necessary; a heavy Cross is a proof of signal favor, etc. And when the nature of our work makes this kind of mental activity impossible, we keep God present in our hearts by doing all things for love of Him. It is the minimum, but it is essential."

Have a blessed day!

3 comments:

carmelitemom said...

Great post Julia! I love reading any helps on practicing the presence of God. I plan to do some posts soon on the named book by Br. Lawrence.

Cindy said...

Love it. Also love the book by Br. Lawrence
Cindy

Anne said...

This is beautiful-thank you! I love your header as well-very pretty! I look forward to visiting often!