The Blessings of the Presence of God

The first blessing that the soul receives from the practice of the presence of God is that its faith is livelier and more active everywhere in our lives. This is particularly true in difficult times, since it obtains the grace we need to deal with temptation and to conduct ourselves in the world. The soul–accustomed by this exercise to the practice of faith–can actually see and feel God by simply entering His presence. It invokes Him easily and obtains what it needs. In so doing, the soul could be said to approach the Blessed, in that it can almost say, “I no longer believe, but I see and experience.” This faith becomes more and more penetrating as it develops through practice.

Second, the practice of the presence of God strengthens us in hope. Our hope increases as our faith penetrates God’s secretes through practice of our holy exercise. The soul discovers in God a beauty infinitely surpassing not only that of bodies that we see on earth, but even that of the angels. Our hope increases and grows stronger, and the among of good that it expects to enjoy–and that in some degree it tastes–reassures and sustains it.

The third blessing is that this practice causes the will to rejoice at being set apart from the world, setting it aglow with the fire of holy love. This is because the soul is always with God, who is a consuming fire, who reduces into powder whatever is opposed to Him. The soul, thus inflamed, can no longer live except in the presence of its God. This presence produces a hold ardor, a sacred urgency, and a violent desire in the heart to see this God whom the soul loves so dearly.

By practicing God’s presence and continuously looking at Him, the soul familiarizes itself with Him to the extent that it passes almost its whole life in continual acts of love, praise, confidence, thanksgiving, offering, and petition. Sometimes all this may merge into one single act that does not end, because the soul is always in the ceaseless exercise of God’s divine presence.

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