GOD’S PRESENCE WITHIN
Sometimes a truth of faith that we know with our head is not one whose real significance we actually grasp in any depth. And yet, if we did grasp it more deeply, it could alter the way we think of God, ourselves and even of the world.
In the “Penny Catechism”, one of the first questions was: “Where is God?” The answer was, “God is everywhere.” Because you were then probably going to move on to the next question and answer, you may well not have let the truth, “God is everywhere” actually sink in! But God IS everywhere! And that truth has huge implications for our lives.
In this Season of Creation which we are celebrating along with all other Christians, to remember that God is everywhere means that he is present to all creation: to the tiniest microbe as to the vastest black hole in space; to the flowers in your garden as to the Amazon rain forest; to the depths of the ocean as to the heights of the mountains.
But there is one place in this everywhere of creation in which he most delights to dwell. It’s the place for love of whom he created everything else and displayed his power and glory in the macro and in the micro realities of the universe. That place is you, every you. He is present in you and to you and for you and with you. What does the hymn say? “Christ be before me, behind me, above me, below me, within me ….”
In the deepest depths of you heart, soul and conscience, the Face of God looks back at you, moved with joy, love, pity and care. Not one cell in your body is unknown to him, is unloved by him. But far more delightful to him is your heart, your very I.
It is good, then, to remember that his presence is not just there for you as it is in any other created thing, but in a completely different and more powerful manner. The highest expression of his Presence within you is what we call sanctifying grace, received in baptism, strengthened in confirmation and fed in the Eucharist.
To source that Presence within, you need faith and an attentive love. You need time and silence. You need to detach for a time from the chaotic stratosphere of your wild mind and emotions, to sink slowly downwards and inwards, calling his name in rhythm with your breath and experiencing his unspeakable presence in the stillness of your I. But you also need to remember that that same Presence is in everyone else – enemies included.