Keeping the presence of God

Friends in Christ, the ancient scribes often expanded the Law to include many details, but they also tried to sum up the law in one sentence or phrase. Today Jesus does just that; he sums up the spirit of the Christian life by saying: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind, and all your strength, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love of God and love of neighbor.
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The great spiritual writers will tell us that one of the most important ways that we love God, is by trying to be aware of him all day, of ‘maintaining this sense of the presence of God.’
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There are times when we pray, for sure. But we also wish to cultivate this presence of God in our daily doings.
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Before his conversion, St. Augustine was trying to find God in so many external things; but as he says, he finally found the Lord, within himself. We can speak to Our Father in heaven any time, he hears our slightest whisper and our most secret thought, as Teresa of Avila said. (See How to Pray Always, p. 107)
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She goes on to say, ‘those who are able to have this presence of God, are walking on an excellent road, and they will drink from the fountain of life’
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If we can cultivate this awareness of the Lord all day, that he is with us, everything will change. St. Teresa says, when once a person acquires this recollection, he would not exchange it for all the treasures of the world.
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God is living in us, and we can speak to him and love him. But he lives also in our neighbor; in our neighbor, he is living or wishes to live. It is as if people are living tabernacles of God’s presence.
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A young mother who is busy with her children should not say, ‘For me, union with God is not possible.’ She is surrounded with tabernacles, with little temples of the Holy Spirit! Her little ones are baptized? Then God is living in them.
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Our work-mates, the foreman, the customers, the boss – they are, or are potentially – bearers of Christ. Each of them is a child of God with a divine destiny, therefore if we love God we will love our neighbor.

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