A Very Easy Method of Walking in The Presence of God That Leads to Great Perfection

by admin on September 9, 2010

AMONG other aspirations and ejaculatory prayers that we may use, the chiefest and most suitable for this practice of the presence of God is that which the Apostle teaches: Whether ye eat or drink, or whatever else ye do, do all for the glory of God (I Cor. x. 31). Now you eat, now you drink, now you do something else—do all for the glory of God. Contrive in all things that you do, as frequently as you can, to lift up your heart to God, saying: “For Thee, O Lord, I do this, to satisfy and please Thee, because Thou so wiliest it; Thy will, O Lord, is my will, and Thy satisfac­tion my satisfaction; I will nothing and reject nothing but what Thou wiliest or rejectest; this is all my joy and all my satisfaction and delight, the accomplishment of Thy will, to please and satisfy Thee; I have nothing else to wish or desire, or set my eyes on, in heaven or on earth.” This is an excellent way of living ever in the presence of God, very easy and profitable and carrying high perfection, since it is living in the continual exercise of the love of God. Here I will only add that this is one of the best and most profitable methods there are, of all that we can take up, of living in perpetual prayer. Nothing else would seem to be wanting to conclude and canonize and extol this exercise but to say ^stiat thereby we shall practise that continual prayer which Christ our Lord asks of us in the Gospel: We must always pray, and never give up (Luke xviii. 1). For what better prayer can there be than to be ever desiring the greater glory and honor of God, ever conforming oneself to His will, willing nothing and rejecting nothing but what God wills and rejects, and placing all one’s joy and satisfaction in the joy and satisfaction of God?

Therefore a doctor says, and with good reason, that he who shall persevere diligently in this exercise of these inward affections and desires will derive such benefit from them that in a short time he will feel his heart vastly altered and changed and will find in himself a particular aversion for the world and a singular affection for God. Ye are no longer strangers and foreigners,, but fellow citizens of the saints and domestics of the house of God (Eph. ii. 19). This is beginning to be citizens of heaven and hench­men of the house of God. These are those lords in waiting that St. John saw in the Apocalypse, who had the name of God written on their foreheads, that is, the continual mem­ory and presence of God. And they shall see his face, and have his name written on their foreheads (Apoc. xxii. 4), for all their dealing and conversation is now no longer on earth, but in heaven. Fixing our gaze not on the things that are seen, but on the things that are not seen, for the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are unseen are eternal (II Cor. iv. 18).

It is to be observed in this exercise that when we make these acts, saying: “For Thee, Lord, I do this, for Thy love, and because Thou so requirest,” and the like, we should make them and say them as speaking to God present and not as lifting up our heart and thought far away from our­selves and out of ourselves. This observation is of great importance in this exercise, because this is properly walk­ing in the presence of God, and this it is that makes this exercise sweet and easy and moves and profits us more. Even in other prayers, when we meditate on Christ on the Cross or at the pillar, writers on prayer advise us not to imagine this taking place there in Jerusalem, a thousand or so many years ago, because that is more wearisome and not so impressive; but we must imagine it in the present, going on there before our eyes, and that we hear the blows of the whips and the hammering in of the nails. And if we medi­tate the exercise on death, they say that we should imagine that we are now to die, given up by the doctors, and with the blessed candle in our hand. How much more reason will there be in this exercise of the presence of God to make the acts that we have said, not as speaking with one absent and away from us, but as speaking with God present, because the exercise itself requires it, and in sober truth it is so.

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