Various methods of devoutly and profitably cultivating the Presence of God. – continued.

Various methods of devoutly and profitably cultivating the Presence of God. – continued.


My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

Various methods of devoutly and profitably cultivating the Presence of God. – continued.

There is a third way of forming the presence of God within us. St. Paul tells us that we are God’s temples and the dwelling-place of the Holy Ghost. “Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (I Cor. iii, 16). The kings of this earth have for their residences, it is true, the whole of the royal palace; but there is an apartment in which they dwell in a particular manner – a presence-chamber, where seated on a splendid throne they give audience, receive petitions, dispense favours, and show special marks of their sovereign dominion. So too, although God Almighty is present everywhere, and in every place, He has set up His throne in our souls and abides therein, as in His temple, to receive the tribute of our special homage. It is there that He hearkens to our prayers; there He wills that we should entertain ourselves with Him; there deigns to accept the tribute of our affections; there holds more immediate intercourse with our souls; and there scatters His graces upon us with a more lavish hand. Why, then, seek God outside of ourselves and far from us, if He be within us, within our innermost soul, within the very centre of our being; and with a presence moreover which, to us at least, is more special than anything else? We may then say with St. Basil: “Let every soul that would be a spouse of Christ, and that would hold sweet and loving converse with Him, retire within itself; withdraw to its uttermost recesses amid the divers workings of its outward senses: there let it unite itself to God with a love as unintermittent as may be; and there let it entertain itself in His company with loving colloquy of the heart, and devout reflections of the understanding” (St. Basil De Virginit).

St. Teresa elsewhere commends in the highest terms this manner of cultivating God’s presence in our souls, saying that it greatly disposes to infused recollection of spirit, which is itself a degree of contemplation. She remarks that if we will but get the habit of retiring with God into the little haven of the soul, without allowing outward objects to distract us, we shall walk by a more excellent way which soon will lead us to refresh ourselves with the living waters of contemplation at the fountain of the Godhead; for by this means a long journey is swiftly made, and the soul is borne to the harbour of union with God, with sails full-spread. To quote her very words: “They, who in this wise, are able to shut themselves up in this little haven of the soul, in which abides the God Who has made the earth, and is our Maker too – if they but train themselves not to gaze upon, nor remain amid, the distractions of the outward senses – may be assured that they have taken a most excellent way, which must lead them to drink the waters of life at the fountain-head; for in a short time they will make much way, even as one sailing in a ship accompanied with favourable winds soon reaches the port to which he is bound” (St. Teresa, Way of Perfection, C. 28). It is, therefore, most useful and profitable to adopt this method of living in the presence of God, and amid our daily occupations often to retire within ourselves, there to converse with God, giving way to supplication, or desires, or acts of self-oblation, of love, or thanksgiving, or praise; as we may feel ourselves inwardly moved by the spirit of grace. “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke xvii, 21). How, then, can it serve our purpose to seek it elsewhere? (Scaramelli; Guide to the Spiritual Life. Vol. I, Section i, Article vii, Chapter IV).


My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.


God takes particular care to detach those from the fleeting pleasures of this life whom He loves with a love of predilection, by the desires with which He inspires them for the heavenly life, and by the griefs and afflictions which He sends them in this life. St. Ignatius of Loyola, Letter 432.


April Devotion: The Holy Ghost (The Passion for Lent)

Virtue to practice: Patience

Vexilla Regis prodeunt

The royal banners forward go;
The Cross shines forth in mystic glow,
Where Life for sinners death endured,
And life by death for man procured.

Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life’s torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in that precious flood
Where mingled, Water flowed, and Blood,

Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old;
‘Amidst the nations, God,’ saith he,
‘Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree.’

O Tree of beauty! Tree of light!
O Tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Those holy Limbs should find their rest.

On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung:
The price of human kind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.

O Cross, our one reliance, hail,
Thou glory of the saved, avail*
To give fresh merit to the Saint,
And pardon to the penitent.

To Thee, Eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done;
Whom by the Cross Thou dost restore,
Preserve and govern evermore. Amen.

Vexilla Regis pródeunt,
Fulget Crucis mystérium,
Qua vita mortem pértulit,
Et morte vitam prótulit.

Quæ vulneráta lánceæ
Mucróne diro, críminum
Ut nos laváret sórdibus,
Manávit unda et sánguine.

Impléta sunt quæ cóncinit
David fidéli cármine,
Dicéndo natiónibus:
Regnávit a ligno Deus.

Arbor decóra et fúlgida,
Ornáta regis púrpura,
Elécta digno stípite
Tam sancta membra tángere.

Beáta, cuius bráchiis
Prétium pepéndit sæculi,
Statéra facta córporis,
Tulítque prædam tártari.

O Crux, ave, spes única,
Gentis redémptæ glória!*
Piis adáuge grátiam,
Reísque dele crímina.

Te, fons salútis, Trínitas,
Colláudet omnis spíritus:
Quibus Cricis victóriam
Largíris, adde præmium. Amen.

(ex. Breviario Romano)

*Instead of: ‘Thou Glory of the saved,’ during Passiontide, say: ‘This Holy Passiontide‘, during the Paschal Season: ‘Thou joy of Eastertide‘, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: ‘On this triumphant day.

An indulgence of 5 years.

A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this hymn throughout an entire month (S.C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S.P.Ap., April 29, 1934).

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