WHAT MUST I DO TO HAVE PRESENCE OF GOD DURING THE DAY?
God wants ordinary Christians to be situated right in the midst of society — Christians who are diligent in their jobs, carrying out work that will generally occupy them from morning to night. Jesus expects that, as well as contemplating him and talking to him at the times expressly set aside for prayer, we should not forget the people we love or those things we consider important to us. That is why each of us must be a soul of prayer at all times, at every opportunity and in the most varied circumstances, because God never abandons us. It is not a proper Christian attitude to look upon friendship with God only as a last resort. Do we think it normal to ignore or neglect the people we love? Obviously not! Those we love figure constantly in our conversations, desires and thoughts. We hold them ever present. So it should be with God (St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 247).
Often, in order to keep Jesus present during the day, we will need to make use of those ‘human devices’, those ejaculations, acts of Love and reparation, spiritual Communions, ‘glances’ at a picture of Our Lady (idem, cf The Way, 272) and some human means to remind us that some time has gone by (too much for love) during which we have not turned to Our Lord, Our Lady, our guardian angel … They are always simple things, but very effective ones. It happens to all of us that when we want to remember something during the day we find a means of ensuring that we do not forget it. If we take the same interest in remembering Our Lord, we will fill our day with little reminders, little ideas that will lead us to keep him present.
A father or mother away from home takes a photograph of the family so as to keep them in mind throughout the journey. How is it we don’t carry an image of Our Lady in our wallet or handbag so that when we look at her we can say, Mother! My Mother! Why not have to hand a crucifix which will help us to offer atonement, to kiss it discreetly, to look at it when we find our study or our work more than usually trying?
Those possible reminders, the resources for keeping presence of God, are countless, because love is creative; they will be different for a doctor about to start an operation, and for a mother who, perhaps at the same time of day, is beginning to tidy up the house. One day, in Heaven, each of us will see how having had recourse to our guardian angel was a great help in carrying out our work. A bus driver will have his ‘human devices’ (he will know very well, for example, when he is closest to Jesus because he happens to be passing the walls of a church) and the dressmaker who stays in the same place all day will have hers. And all will be done with a matter-of-fact and cheerful spirit, without their being overwhelmed, but with love; Ejaculatory prayers do not hinder your work, just as the beating of your heart does not impede the movements of the body (St. Josemaria, Furrow, 516).
Bit by bit, if we persevere, we will reach a point where being in the presence of God becomes our normal and natural state, although we will always have to put up a determined struggle to stay there.
SOURCE: Book of Meditations (private collection).
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