Category Archives: Spiritual Life

The Flow of God

In my vision of the throne room of God, I saw the essence of God Enthroned flowing out from his presence to all who surrounded his throne, filling them with life then returning back to God in eternal praise. This essence of God is:

  • The energy that manifests the universe.
  • The Glory of God’s ever abiding presence.
  • The Divine Will and Purpose for all things visible and invisible.

It is manifested in:

  • The Word of God through whom all things are created and sustained.
  • The consolation of the Holy Spirit that gives us awareness of God’s presence.
  • The Love of God that is his Divine Will and Purpose for us all.

To experience this power in our lives, we must be in the flow of this Divine Energy.

This flow is most commonly referred to in Scripture as “the river of God.”

This river is alluded to as early as the Eden story as the origin of all rivers. The four rivers named in the Genesis epic tell the story of the flow of God.

  • The first river is the Pishon which means “the overflowing of living water.” It relates to the Hebrew word pashur that means “prosperity everywhere.”
  • The second river is the Gihon from the Hebrew word giyah that means “to break.” From Eden, man’s relationship with God as friend and companion was broken.
  • The third river is often named the Tigris. However, in Hebrew the river is named the Hiddekel from the verb hadak, which means “to prick with thorns.” Our Savior was crowned with thorns as he purchased our redemption.
  • The fourth river, often named the Euphrates is actually the Parat in Hebrew which means “the bitter water has been made sweet.” Our relationship with God as friend and companion has been restored in Christ.

The river of God is viewed by Ezekiel who saw in a vision a trickle of water flowing from the eastern side of the temple, where Christ was crucified. As the trickle flowed it grew bigger until it was a great and powerful river. Then, when the river reached the ocean, it transformed the ocean from salt water that no one can drink into fresh water that quenches the thirst of all in the earth. Ezekiel was viewing the ministry of Christ in the earth, what we now refer to as his Body, the Church. Through his Church, Christ quenches the thirst of all.

Finally, the river of God is viewed by St. John the Divine recorded in the book of Revelation.

And he showed me the river of water of life. It was clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It divided the central street of the city, and on both sides of the river, was the tree of life. The tree of life bears twelve fruits, continually bearing a crop every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall no longer be any curse whatsoever. Because the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the city, and his servants shall serve him. They shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads. Night shall be no more. They shall not need the light of the lamp, nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall be their light. And they shall reign with him forever and ever. Revelation 22:1-5

I remember when I was younger swimming in the San Marcus River in Texas. It is not a huge powerful river like the Mississippi, but you cannot swim against the current for long without becoming discouraged and exhausted. If you are going to enjoy being in the river, you need to go with the flow. When you go with the flow you are strengthened and carried along by its awesome power.

Everything that is, exists in the flow of God.

Pursue God with joy and find him in peace. He is not far from any of us, for in him we live, and move, and exist. Acts 17:27-28

The flow of God entered our universe the moment he separated light from darkness in that beginning spark of creation we commonly refer to as the big bang. The flow of God continues unabated till this day and will continue into eternity. Even though this universe may one day grind to a halt in icy stillness, the flow of God will continue in that realm of pure light we commonly refer to as heaven.

To experience the love, peace, and joy of God’s presence, we must live in the flow of God.

The immature believer wants to bend the flow of God to his own perceived needs and desires. He prays, “God, do this for me. God, perform a miracle for me. God, make everyone I like happy and healthy. God, change the people who frustrate me. God, make my life easy.” The mature believer only desires to be in the flow of God and so surrenders to God’s perfect authority and will. He prays as Jesus taught him, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done.” The mature believer surrenders everything he has or desires to the flow of God. The Blessed Mother gives us an example to follow when she prayed, “Let it be done to me according to thy word.”

It is a great blessing to shift our prayer life from constantly seeking something from God, and simply to seek God himself for his own sake. When we do that, we find ourselves in his magnificent flow. He carries us and fulfills in us his purpose for us. And, as Jesus promised, we find rest for our souls.

We also find the miraculous power of God in our lives. There is a story of a young boy who was troubled by an evil spirit that the disciples were unable to drive out. Jesus comes and comes and commands the evil spirit to leave. The disciples asked Jesus, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” Jesus replies, “This kind only comes out by prayer.” (Mark 9:13-29) I’m sure the disciples thought to themselves, “What do you think we were doing?” It seems that Jesus was using the term “prayer” in a different context than we generally consider. I’m sure the disciples were asking God to cure the boy, but something must have been amiss in their motive. St. James teaches us:

Where do the wars and arguments among you come from? Are they not from your selfish desires, which wage war inside yourselves?  You covet and you do not possess. You kill and envy but cannot obtain. You argue and fight but come up empty. You don’t have because you do not ask God.  You ask but don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, seeking only personal gain or pleasure. James 4:1-3

Could the disciples have been motivated by a desire for personal recognition rather than glorifying God? We see their desire for recognition elsewhere in the gospels. Perhaps here as well. Perhaps they were competing to be the one who drove out the evil spirit. But regardless of the underlying issue, it is clear that the disciples were not ministering in the flow of God. So, their prayer was ineffective.

True prayer is not asking or demanding that God does what we want him to do but submitting to the flow of God. Even Jesus said that he could do nothing by himself, but only what he “sees his Father doing.” (John 5:19) We should follow Christ’s example and not demand from God but, with spiritual sight, see what the Father is doing. Then, in that knowledge, step into the flow of the Father’s work. Allow God to be God through our prayer. And all thanks and glory go to God, none to us his humble servants. For all we do is submit to the mighty flow of God.

 

 

How can a good and loving God allow so much pain and suffering?

First, let us define what love is. What does it mean to love? St. Thomas Aquinas defines love as “willing the other’s good.” When we think of God’s love, we see it as God intending all the energy and presence of the universe for our benefit. God wills all things for our good. And all things include suffering, even death.

A personal trainer pushes his or her trainee to the point of struggle, and perhaps even pain to prepare muscles to strengthen and grow.

Boot camp is an experience of many in which a weak and selfish individual can be broken down by his drill instructor and rebuilt into a strong, well-trained soldier who will sacrifice himself for the good of his country.

When accepted with thanksgiving, suffering in this life can be redemptive.

Therefore, since we have been brought into a good and positive relationship with God by faith, let us enjoy peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access through faith into this grace, in which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of the children of God. And not only that; but we glory also in our troubles, knowing that suffering builds patience; And patience builds endurance. And endurance builds hope. And our hope, our conviction that God is working for our good, never puts us to shame. Because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us. Romans 5:1-5

Even death when seen from God’s perspective is not a sad or bad experience. Jesus said, ““I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me shall live, even if he should die. And everyone who lives and believes in me, will not die forever.” John 11:25-26 Death is merely a doorway from life to the fulness of life. The sadness we experience when losing a loved one comes from our perspective of loss and loneliness.

Of course, not all suffering is redemptive. Parents sometimes have the experience of watching a rebellious child take everything that was intended for their good and employing it for the purpose of self-destruction. It is called free will. A child may squander their education, money, and life itself on drugs, alcohol, relationships that lack commitment or true intimacy, and screen distractions that numb their ability to reason. Self-destruction is not in the flow of God’s loving presence but exists in the devil’s playground. Still, God’s love is so powerful that one only needs to turn to God, repent, and submit to the flow of God’s love to be plucked from the path of destruction and placed on the path of life. And God is able to take even the worst experiences of our lives and miraculously use them for our ultimate good.

And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God. All things work together for good, for those who, living according to his will and purpose, are called to be saints. For those whom he foreknew, he also determined to be conformed to the image of his Son; so that Christ might be the firstborn among many siblings. And those whom he determined, he also called. And those whom he called, he also justified into a good and positive relationship with God. And those whom he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:28-30

Sometimes the Holy Spirit needs to perform holy surgery in our souls to cut away self-destructive desires and replace them with pure desires that bring us hope and joy. That can be painful for a moment but ultimately result in our healing.

So, God is not ashamed to be called our loving Father. For he has purposed everything in this universe for our good. And even when through our own rebellion and violence we introduce destruction into our lives, God is always present to transform our lives into joy, when we submit ourselves into the flow of his love.

The Joy of the Lord

The joy of the Lord will be your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

Cheryl and I were praying together this morning, and one of the Scriptures we read reminded me of a song sung by the Medical Mission Sisters. It was in the 1960’s and their music was always filled with such joy. In fact, simple, childlike joy was a hallmark of the renewal movement in the 1960’s. I actually began to weep as I wondered why we see so little joy these days.

Amid this pandemic, joy seems scarce. We might even feel insensitive or crass if we openly expressed joy. There is so much trouble, so much sadness. But life was not all peaches and cream when Nehemiah made the promise given above. “The joy of the Lord will be your strength.”

Israel had been exiled from their homeland for 70 years. A few were allowed to return under Nehemiah’s leadership to rebuild Jerusalem from the rubble. He was maligned by those who did not want Jerusalem rebuilt and so he was arrested and tried for treason. When he began rebuilding the walls, he was daily attacked by those opposed, so the builders had to keep swords with them as they worked, always ready to defend the project. But he encouraged the people, “The joy of the Lord will be your strength.”

Could simple, childlike joy be the key to strength in our time as well?

Here are a few suggestions about how to get back to joy.

  1. Watch less news. In the 1960’s the news was only on for 30 minutes a day. Somehow we didn’t seem to miss it.
  2. Listen to uplifting music that praises God. Yes, the Medical Mission Sister still publish CD’s.
  3. Get together with others to pray, praise, and support each other.
  4. Attend the daily live stream Mass or at least read the daily readings as part of your prayer time.
  5. Sing. It is good for your body and your soul. Just keep a safe social distance when singing.

Remember, it is God who is in control of this universe. Not Covid. Not government health agencies. In this Easter season we celebrate Christ who conquered death. So, let’s celebrate with joy.

THe Joy of the Lord will be my strength

The joy of the Lord will be your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

Cheryl and I were praying together this morning, and one of the Scriptures we read reminded me of a song sung by the Medical Mission Sisters. It was in the 1960’s and their music was always filled with such joy. In fact, simple, childlike joy was a hallmark of the renewal movement in the 1960’s. I actually began to weep as I wondered why we see so little joy these days.

Amid this pandemic, joy seems scarce. We might even feel insensitive or crass if we openly expressed joy. There is so much trouble, so much sadness. But life was not all peaches and cream when Nehemiah made the promise given above. “The joy of the Lord will be your strength.”

Israel had been exiled from their homeland for 70 years. A few were allowed to return under Nehemiah’s leadership to rebuild Jerusalem from the rubble. He was maligned by those who did not want Jerusalem rebuilt and so he was arrested and tried for treason. When he began rebuilding the walls, he was daily attacked by those opposed, so the builders had to keep swords with them as they worked, always ready to defend the project. But he encouraged the people, “The joy of the Lord will be your strength.”

Could simple, childlike joy be the key to strength in our time as well?

Here are a few suggestions about how to get back to joy.

  • Watch less news. In the 1960’s the news was only on for 30 minutes a day. Somehow we didn’t seem to miss it.
  • Listen to uplifting music that praises God. Yes, the Medical Mission Sister still publish CD’s.
  • Get together with others to pray, praise, and support each other.
  • Attend the daily live stream Mass or at least read the daily readings as part of your prayer time.
  • Sing. It is good for your body and your soul. Just keep a safe social distance when singing.

Remember, it is God who is in control of this universe. Not Covid. Not government health agencies. Every Sunday we celebrate Christ who conquered death. So, let’s celebrate with joy.

One Touched Jesus

A large crowd followed Jesus and pressed upon him.  There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” But his disciples said to Jesus, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?'” And he looked around to see who had done it. The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” (Mark 5:25-35)

Imagine yourself as this woman in the gospel this morning. For the last 12 years you have a bleeding hemorrhage. It is literally draining the life out of you. You are tired and week all the time and are not sure how much longer you can go on. You are not sure how you have come this far. You have been to several doctors who have attempted painful and intrusive procedures that have done more harm than good. You are unclean. You are not allowed to touch anyone or be touched by anyone, not even your husband, if indeed he is still even in the picture. Whenever someone comes within arm’s reach of you, you must shout “Unclean” as if you were a leper. You can’t remember the last time you had so much as a conversation with another human being. You are an outcast. You are lonely. You are in pain. You are exhausted. You are dying.

Has anyone here ever felt that way before? Is there an area of your life in which you feel that way now?

You hear Jesus is in town. Somehow that name brings hope to the hopeless. You think, “If only I can touch the tassel of his prayer shawl. I believe I can be healed.” You sneak up behind him. People are pressing against him. They are pressing against you. You are breaking the law. You could be stoned. You don’t care. If this doesn’t work, you might as well be dead. You see a break in the crowd and slip forward. You bend down and touch a tassel of his prayer shawl. Suddenly, Jesus stops and stands erect. Immediately, you slip back in the crowd.

“Who touched me?” Jesus asks. The disciples think he’s joking. They laugh. “Everyone.” They answer. “The whole crowd is pressing against you.” “No.” Jesus smiles. “Someone touched me. I felt the power of God flow through me.” He is looking straight at you. There is no hiding now. You come forward and tell Jesus everything. He looks at you with loving eyes and calls you daughter. “Your faith has healed you. Go in peace. You are well.”

The point of this story is that there is a difference between pressing against Jesus and touching Jesus. The whole crowd was pressing against Jesus. One touched him. The difference was faith, but faith is not what you might think it is.

Faith is not believing that, it is believing in.

The whole crowd believed that Jesus was special. They believed that he was a prophet. They believed that was the messiah. They believed that he could heal. They believed that he could deliver from evil. But they only pressed against Jesus. Only one touched him.

Faith is not doing the right thing. The crowd was doing the right thing. They were following Jesus along. I’m sure some were reaching out and touching him so they could go home and say, “I touched Jesus.” But they hadn’t really touched Jesus. They just pressed their hand against him. Only one touched Jesus, and she was doing all the wrong things. Breaking the law. Pushing through the crowd even though she was unclean. But she knew in the depth of her spirit where God speaks to us, that if she touched the fringe of his garment, she would be healed. She followed that still small voice in simple trust and obedience at the risk of her life and she touched Jesus.

That is what faith is. Simple trust and obedience to the still, small voice of God deep in your spirit.

Mary Healy, professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminar in reflecting on this passage tells the story of a Sikh woman from Punjab who had an abusive husband. As he was beating her she leapt from their balcony to escape him, and broke her back. She had been paralyzed for 12 years. She heard from friend that someone had been healed at a Catholic Retreat Center in Malabar. She traveled there and met with a Catholic priest. She told him her story, and the priest encouraged her to forgive her husband. That was not what she came for. But she asked him, “If I forgive my husband, will your Jesus heal me?” The priest answered honestly, “I don’t know, but if you want any peace in this life at all, you must forgive your husband.” The next day, a retreat speaker invited everyone to stand up and thank God for his goodness. The woman later told the priest what happened: “I thought to myself, I have so much to thank God for. I am alive, I have two sons who take care of me. I must praise God!” She stood, raised her hands to God, and was instantly and completely healed of her paralysis. The woman stayed at the retreat center for several months to go through RCIA. She and her sons were baptized. Healy, Mary. Gospel of Mark, The (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture) (p. 108). Baker Book Group

This morning I will place the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus in your hands. Will you press against Jesus, or will you touch Jesus? Will you take it because it is the right thing to do and move on? Or will you pause to listen to Christ’s voice of love and grace and be healed and transformed? Gaze in adoration upon the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus in your hand. Listen to his still, small voice. Know deep in your spirit what he is calling you to do. Meekly follow his voice. Touch Jesus this morning.

Homily given at  Our Lady of Hope 7/1/18

Holiness

In today’s readings, God says to Moses, “Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” And Jesus reprises, “Be perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” So what does it mean to be holy?

Growing up in East Texas, I was exposed to the “holiness” tradition. These were mostly Pentecostals who sought to achieve holiness by what they didn’t do. They didn’t drink, smoke, cuss or speak to anyone who did, except to tell them they were going to hell. Women never wore pants or makeup and seldom cut their hair. While avoiding such extremes, most of us perceive holiness in various externals of speech, dress, or political correctness. There are Anglicans who devoutly believe Elizabethan English is more holy than modern English and Catholics who see holiness in women wearing chapel veils and men kneeling erectly, rather than resting on the pew. During the Jesus Movement in the sixties we perceived holiness in how worn and faded the jeans were we wore to church, differentiating ourselves from the hypocrites in the suits.

At its core, holiness has nothing to do with external acts or appearance, but the inner presence of the Spirit of God. God said to Moses at the burning bush, “Take off your shoes, for the ground you are standing on is holy ground.” Was the dirt Moses standing on externally different from any other dirt? No, it’s all the same dirt. God’s presence made it holy. The bread and wine we receive at Eucharist is externally still bread and wine, but God’s presence makes it the true body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.

Our external body was formed from the earth. No matter how we clean and polish it, we are still just walking, talking mud people. But the spark of God’s Spirit lies within each of us. St. Paul refers to us as clay pots, but pots that contain heavenly treasure. If we just relax and let it out, God’ s light will shine. To embrace holiness we must walk in the words of John the Baptist, “Christ must increase; we must decrease.”

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A New Wave Is Coming

I was at Eucharistic Adoration this afternoon and sensed this reflection.

“There is a new wave of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit coming. When it breaks on the shore there will be a great division between those who are committed to following Jesus and those who are just going through the motions. Religiosity is the enemy of faith. Many live in religiosity, but few live by faith. The people of God need to speak the truth boldly. They must know the truth and not be afraid. Unafraid to offend. Unafraid to upset the status quo. Unafraid to suffer. The status quo is driving millions away from the Church. The people of God must know the truth and not be afraid.”

With so many voices in the Church, I fear many are confused by the Truth. Jesus is the Truth. Know Jesus. Know the Truth.

I wasn’t going to blog my reflection as I like to let these thing settle for awhile before sharing them. However, when I got home I read the following reflection by Pope Francis. He is speaking in the same vein, so I decided to share it.

Pope Francis: You can’t dialogue with the devil!

Satan is a specialist in deception, and a cheat who “doesn’t pay well.”

Diane Montagna, Aleteia.org. © Copyright 2017 Aleteia SAS all rights reserved.

VATICAN CITY — Prayer and humble reliance the Lord is the strongest weapon against temptation, Pope Francis said this morning, adding that when it comes to spiritual warfare, you can’t dialogue with the devil.

Addressing clergy and faithful in his homily at morning Mass, in the chapel of his residence at Santa Marta, the pope called the devil a specialist in deception, who “promises you everything and leaves you naked.”

In the weakness of temptation which we all experience, he said, the key is not to “hide ourselves” from the Lord, but to seek his grace when we are tested, and to seek his forgiveness should we fall.

The devil uses dialogue to deceive

Temptations lead us to hide ourselves from the Lord, so that we remain with our “fault,” our “sin,” our “corruption.” Commenting on the first Reading from the Book of Genesis, Pope Francis focused on the temptation of Adam and Eve, and then considered that of Jesus in the desert.

In the Genesis account, the devil appears in the form of a serpent: he is “attractive,” and with his cunning he seeks “to deceive.” In this he is a specialist, he is “the father of lies,” “a liar.” So he knows how to deceive and how to “cheat” people. This is what he did with Eve: he made her “feel good,” the Pope explained, and so he began to dialogue with her; and, step by step, Satan led her where he wanted.

With Jesus it is different; it ended badly for the devil, the Pope said. “He tries to dialogue” with Christ, because when the devil deceives a person he does so with dialogue.” He attempts to deceive Him, but Jesus does not give in. Then the devil is revealed for who he is. Jesus answers him, not with His own words, but with the Word of God, because “you can’t dialogue with the devil”; you’ll end up, like Adam and Eve, “naked”:

“The devil is a bad paymaster, he doesn’t pay well. He is a cheat! He promises you everything and leaves you naked. Jesus, too, ended up naked, but on the Cross, through obedience to the Father: this is a different path. The serpent, the devil is cunning: you can’t dialogue with the devil. We all know what temptations are, we all know, because we all have them. So many temptations! Of vanity, pride, greed, avarice… so many!”

Corruption begins in small things

Today, the Pope said, there is a lot of talk of corruption; and for this, too, we should ask for the Lord’s help:

“There are so many corrupt people, corrupt ‘big fish’ in the world, whose lives we read about in the papers. Perhaps they began with a small thing, I don’t know, maybe not adjusting the scales well. What was a kilo… no, let’s make it 900 grams, but that will seem like a kilo. Corruption begins in small things like this, with dialogue: ‘No, it’s not true that this fruit will harm you. Eat it, it’s good! It’s a little thing, no one will notice. Do it! Do it!’ And little by little, little by little, you fall into sin, you fall into corruption.”

If you want to be a winner, never hide from the Lord

The Church teaches this, the Pope said, so that we will not be deceived – not to say foolish – so that when we are tempted we have our “eyes open” and know to ask the Lord for help, “because we can’t do it on our own.” Adam and Eve hid themselves from the Lord; on the contrary, it takes the grace of Jesus in order to “turn and seek forgiveness”:

“In temptation, you don’t dialogue, you pray: ‘Help me, Lord, I am weak. I don’t want to hide from you.’ This is courage, this is winning. When you start to dialogue, you end up overcome, defeated. May the Lord give us that grace, and accompany us in this courage. And if we are deceived because of our weakness in temptation, may He grant us the courage to get up and go forward. It’s for this that Jesus came, for this.”

The Lord’s Discipline

  Have you ever grown impatient waiting on God? Abraham did. He gave up on having the child of promise and had a child by Hagar. And his impatience caused multi-generational problems. God brings us to the brink before pouring out his provision to train us to trust him. This is called discipline. So discipline is not God punishing us when we do something wrong, but training us to trust him no matter what.

This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors.  Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments.  He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet did not swell these forty years.  Know then in your heart that as a parent disciplines a child so the Lord your God disciplines you.  Therefore keep the commandments of the Lord your God, by walking in his ways and by fearing him.  For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills,  a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper.  You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.  Deuteronomy 8:1-10 NRSVCE

 Discipline is provision.

  If we fail to trust and fail to wait, we find ourselves outside of the flow of God in our lives. We miss what God has for us. We find ourselves frustrated and confused. God is always faithful, but we can remove ourselves from his blessing. We can repeat the story of Adam and Eve. We can refuse to live according to God’s plan. Or we can choose to follow God, to wait for him, to trust him, and to enjoy his presence and his provision.

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Realizing God’s Presence in the Mundane

The other day as I arrived at work, I was stressed from the traffic and the weather. Aware of my inner turmoil, as I turned off my car; I paused, took a deep breath, and brought my focus on God. Inwardly, I recited my life-verse, “Oh give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 118:1) Suddenly, I was keenly aware of Christ’s presence in the mundane reality of my daily commute.

Jesus promised to always be with us, and he is. We become too busy and distracted to notice, but he is there. It is simply a matter of focus. If we focus on the ‘busy-ness’, make that craziness, all around us, we can become anxious and confused. But if we focus on the eternal reality that lies beyond the immediate, like the bedrock that invisibly supports us beneath our feet, we find peace and confidence in his presence.

Live in the Light

Have you ever awakened in a dark room and, for whatever reason, began to move about without turning on the light? You are likely to stub some toes. It hurts. Choosing to walk around in darkness is risky business. Why do so many people choose to live in a spiritual darkness instead of light? Perhaps it is easier to simply reject God than deal with the moral and spiritual implications that come with believing in God.

I have heard people say they don’t believe in God, they believe in science. I will grant you that science may have disproven the concept of God many held when they were seven years old, but far from disprove God, science has again and again proven the necessity of God. Even atheist Manjit Kumar, in his book Quantum, stated that without God there can be no objective universe. So the problem is not the existence of God as much as the concept of God. Peter Kreeft recently commented that when he debates atheists, he often finds that he agrees with them. Their concept of god is so askew that the god they do not believe in does not exist.

In this day and age of so many religious voices vying for your assent, it takes study and prayer to come to a true understanding of God. But when you do, it is like turning on the light in a dark room. Everything becomes clear.

If you want to discover the true God, study the life of Jesus. He is the perfect revelation of God. And learn to pray in such a way that leads you into friendship with God. Prayer is not giving God your wish list. That will only lead to disappointment. Prayer is learning to listen to God and allowing him to transform you into the person he created you to be. Then you will know God and live in the light.