Practicing God's Presence.
Let me see your face, when I awake, let me be filled with your presence. Psalm 17:15
Just depend upon Me for the results of all activities, and work always under My protection. In such devotional service, be fully conscious of Me. Gita 18:57
One who becomes conscious of Me passes over all the obstacles of conditional life. However, if one does not work in such consciousness but acts through false ego, not hearing Me, he is lost. Gita 18:58
God is knower of all the secrets in the heaven and the earth; He is fully aware of the innermost convictions. Quran 35:38
The Lord is aware of what you think or do. All your deeds and thoughts should be for His pleasure. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 138.
(...) withersoever ye turn, there is the Presence of Allah. Quran 2:115
He knows what the eyes cannot see and what the chest hides. Quran 40:19
Since we created the human being, we are fully aware of his innermost thoughts. We are closer to him than jugular vein. The two angels, at right and at left, record everything he does. Not a single utterance he utters without a vigilant watcher. Quran 50:16-18
God passes by, but I cannot see him. Job 9:11
If I called, and he had answered, yet would I not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice. Job 9:16
(...) you will reveal the path of life to me, give me unbounded joy in your presence, and at your right hand everlasting pleasures. Ps 16:11
Let me listen, now, to the voice of the Lord God (Ps 85:8). Blessed is the soul that hears the Lord speaking within her and receives from his lips words that bring her comfort. Thomas A Kempis. Imitation of Christ, III.1.1
I am in everyone's heart as the Supersoul (...). Gita 7:21
He is situated in everyone's heart. Gita 13:18
Jesus answered them, "(...) The time is coming, and is already here, when all of you will be scattered, each one to his own home, and I will be left alone. But I am not really alone, because the Father is with me.(...)" John 16:32
God, who made the world and everything in it, is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in man-made temples. Nor does he need anything that we can supply by working for him, since it is he himself who gives life and breath and everything else to everyone. From one man he created all races of mankind and made them live throughout the whole earth. He himself fixed beforehand the exact times and the limits of the places where they would live. He did this so they would look for him, and perhaps find him as they felt around for him. Yet God is actually not far from anyone of us; as someone has said, 'In him we live and move and exist.' (...). Acts of Apostles, 17:24-28
Their thoughts dwell in Me, their lives are surrendered to Me, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss, enlightening one another and conversing about Me. Gita 10:9
...we must remember that in every soul, even that of the greatest sinner in the world, God dwells, and is substantially present. (...) By this He preserves them in being, and if He withdraws it they immediately perish and cease to be. St. John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel, P.77
If only you would enkindle me with the fire of your presence, consume me with those flames, change me into yourself! So, by the grace of that inward union, that melting away beneath the heat of burning love, you and I would become a single spirit. (...) ... you are that fire that is ever blazing and never burning low, the love that cleanses the heart and brings light to the understanding. Thomas A Kempis, Imitation of Christ, IV.16.3
(...) then I take the image (of Jesus) out of the cradle and lay it upon my naked heart with great pleasure and sweetness and feel then the most powerful grace with the presence of God, that I afterwards wonder how our Lady could ever have borne the constant presence of God. Margareta Ebner. In: Buber, Ecstatic Confessions, P.73.
If you have faith that the Lord is abiding by you every moment and He is the All-Doer, then you shall never be perturbed, though many undesirable circumstances come your way. You shall bear all with patience and remain contented in Lord's Will. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 689.
God always abides by you and is as much a part of you as is your forehead. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1348.
Do not be despaired or lose hope and courage. Never think that you are lonely, remember that the Lord always abides by you. Happiness shall assuredly follow sorrows. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1432.
The Inner Divine Voice can be heard by patience. Before commencing any task, first listen to the voice of the soul and then of the mind. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1484.
One who sees God in all and all in God is of stable mind. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1564.
Have a firm belief that the Lord is watching your every action. He is very just, and He shall not be partial on any account. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1720.
I cannot trust my mind. It may go astray any time. O Lord! Do not leave my hand even for a moment. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1942.
Nothing is hidden from the Lord. He perceives your inner sentiments. Cleanse your inner thoughts entrusting all unto Him. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1952.
(...) we might accustom ourselves to a continual conversation with Him, with freedom and in simplicity. (...) we need only to recognize God intimately present with us, to address ourselves to Him in every moment (...). Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, P.24.
O my God, since Thou art with me, and I must now, in obedience to Thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I beseech Thee to grant me the grace to continue in Thy presence; and to this end do Thou prosper me with Thy assistance, receive all my works, and posses all my affections. Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, P.29.
The time of business (...) does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament. Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, P.31.
I worshipped Him the oftenest that I could, keeping my mind in His holy presence, and recalling it as often as I found it wandering from Him. Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, P.33.
(...) And I make it my business only to persevere in His holy presence, wherein I keep myself by a simple attention, and a general fond regard to God, which I may call an actual presence of God; or, to speak better, an habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with God, which often causes me joys and raptures inwardly, and sometimes also outwardly, so great that I am forced to use means to moderate them and prevent their appearance to others. Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, P.37-38.
Believe me; make immediately a holy and firm resolution nevermore willfully to forget Him, and to spend the rest of your days in His sacred presence, deprived, for the love of Him, if He thinks fit, of all consolations. Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, P.47.
Meditate and realize this world is filled with the presence of God. Shvetashvatara Upanishad 1:12.
I often feel God's presence after Holy Communion in a special and tangible way. I know God is in my heart. And the fact that I feel Him in my heart does not interfere with my duties. Even when I am dealing with the very important matters which require attention, I do not lose the presence of God in my soul, and I am closely united with Him. With Him I go to work, with Him I go for recreation, with Him I suffer, with Him I rejoice; I live in Him and He in me. I am never alone, because he is my constant companion. He is present to me at every moment. Our intimacy is very close, through a union of blood and of life. Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 318.
A spiritual act is an instantaneous act, an act without time. (...) As soon as we move in love to God present in our depths, we are there. There a perfect prayer of adoration, love and presence is. Basil Pennington, Finding Grace at the Centre, P.17.
What happens - the way the Spirit seems to bring this about - is that in this (contemplative) prayer we experience not only our oneness with God in Christ, but also our oneness with all the rest of the Body of Christ, and indeed with the whole creation, in God's creative love and sharing in being. Thus we begin connaturally as it were, to experience the presence of God in all things, the presence of Christ in each person we meet. Moreover, we sense a oneness with them. From this flows a true compassion - a "feeling with." Basil Pennington, Finding Grace at the Centre, P.20.
The presence of God is like the atmosphere we breathe. You can have all you want of it as long as you do not try to take possession of it and hang on to it. Nothing is more delightful than the divine presence. For that reason we want to carve out a piece of it and hide it in the closet for safekeeping. But that is like trying to grasp a handful of air. As soon as your fingers close over it, it is gone. The presence of God does not respond to greed. (...). Thomas Keating, Finding Grace at the Centre, P.30.
To know God in this way is to perceive a new dimension to all reality. The ripe fruit of this (contemplative) prayer is to bring back into the humdrum routine of ordinary life, not just the thought of God, but the constant awareness of His presence beyond any concept. He Who Is - the infinite, incomprehensible, ineffable One - is the God of faith. Thomas Keating, Finding Grace at the Centre, P.34.
It is not necessary to maintain a conversation when we are in the presence of God. We can come into His presence and rest our weary souls in quiet contemplation of Him. Our groanings, which cannot be uttered, rise to Him and tell Him better than words how dependent we are upon Him." Hallesby, Prayer. P.148. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <email@example.com>
Impossible situations may be due to other people, disease, disaster or just immense inconvenience. How we react is our response to God's presence. Living daily life as if God were absent is the fatal flaw of the spiritual journey. The idea that God is absent is just a thought or feeling. If you can shatter that illusion and disregard the feeling, you have it made. God cannot be absent. Treating him as if he were is an insult. It is like saying to God, "You're not in my life; not, at least, in this situation. I'll pray when I get off this plane; when this lousy sermon is over; when I finally get my divorce; when this painful situation at the office is settled; when the energy that I need to survive this impossible situation is once again available." Thomas Keating, Awakenings, P.10
God is present to everything like the eye of a camera that sees everything just as it is. Yet we, in our turn, may not be present to God. Like the subjects of a casual photograph, we may not perceive that someone sees a marvelous value and beauty in us and is taking our picture. We are summoned into the presence of God by the fact of our birth, but we become present to God only by our consent. As our faculties and capacities to relate gradually develop and unfold, the capacity to enter into relationship with God increases, and each new depth of presence requires a new consent. Each new awakening to God changes our relationship to ourselves and to everyone and everything else. Growth in faith is growth in the right perception of all reality. Keating, Thomas, Intimacy With God..P.9..
(...)The goal of contemplative prayer is not so much the emptiness of thoughts or conversation as the emptiness of self. In Contemplative prayer we cease to multiply reflections and acts of the will. A different kind of knowledge rooted in love emerges in which the awareness of God's presence supplants the awareness of our own presence and the inveterate tendency to reflect on ourselves. The experience of God's presence frees us from making ourself or our relationship with God the center of the universe...." Keating, Thomas. Intimacy With God. P.41
The Christian is then not simply a man of goodwill, who commits himself to a
certain set of beliefs, who has a definite dogmatic conception of the universe,
of man, and of man's reason for existing. He is not simply one who follows a
moral code of brotherhood and benevolence with strong emphasis on certain
rewards and punishments dealt out to the individual. Underlying
Christianity is not simply a set of doctrines about God considered as dwelling remotely in heaven, and man struggling on earth, far from heaven, trying to appease a distant God by means of virtuous acts. On the contrary, Christians themselves too often fail to realize that the infinite God is dwelling within them, so that He is in them and they are in Him. They remain unaware of the presence of the infinite source of being right in the midst of the world and of men. Merton, Thomas. Faith and Violence. P. 222.
Submitted by Gary Horn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When we sit down to do Centering Prayer and form our intention, we know the
divine presence is already there. We do not create it. All we have
to do is consent. The divine energy flows into us and through us.
In its purest form it is available twenty-four hours a day at maximum strength.
By consenting, we open to God as God is without trying to figure who or
what God is. We consent to the divine presence without depending on a medium to express it, translate it, or interpret it in terms of our personal history, cultural conditioning, and temperamental bias. God communicates himself on only one condition. Our consent. Visions, consolations, experiences, psychological breakthroughs, all have value but only a limited value, pointing us to the maximum value, which is the whole of God in pure faith. This faith, once it is established as a conviction, changes our perspective of who we are and who God is. It operates appropriately through the theological virtues and the Seven Gifts of the
Spirit, enabling us to respond to the realities and routines of daily life and to perceive the divine presence in the ordinary, the insignificant, and even in suffering. Keating, Thomas. Intimacy With God. P. 103.
We must remember that our experience of union with God, our feeling of His presence, is altogether accidental and secondary. It is only a side effect of His actual presence in our souls, and gives no sure indication of that presence in any case. For God Himself is above all apprehensions and ideas and sensations, however spiritual, that can ever be experienced by the spirit of man in this life. Merton, Thomas. No Man Is An Island. P. 225. Submitted by Gary Horn mailto:email@example.com
No one ever knew God the way that Jesus knew him. He penetrated the
depths of the Ultimate Reality and revealed that the interior life of Limitless
Being is relationship: a community of persons sharing infinite life and
love. Jesus entered into that relationship, made it his own, and tried to
transmit it to his disciples. For him, the Father, Abba, was absolutely
everything. In coming to the age of reason and to full reflective
self-consciousness, Jesus never suffered from the feeling of separation from
God that is our experience as we come to rational consciousness. This
feeling of separation is the source of our deep sense
of incompletion, guilt and alienation. (See Mark 15:22-38). Keating, Thomas. The Mystery of Christ: The Liturgy as Spiritual Experience. PP. 59-60.
With our loss of the sense of (God's) majesty has come the further loss of
religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence. We have lost our
spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring
silence. Modern Christianity is simply not producing the kind of
Christian who can appreciate or experience the life in the Spirit. The
words, "Be still, and know that I am God," mean next to nothing to
the self-confident, bustling worshiper in this middle period of the twentieth
This loss of the concept of majesty has come just when the forces of religion are making dramatic gains and the churches are more prosperous than at any time within the last several hundred years. But the alarming thing is that our gains are mostly external and our losses wholly internal; and since it is the QUALITY of our religion that is affected by internal conditions, it may be that our supposed gains are but losses spread over a wider field. Tozer, A.W. Knowledge of the Holy. Submitted by Gary Horn.
Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is close." Translated into the Spiritual senses, this wisdom saying points to the interior sense of God's presence. It dislodges the monumental illusion that God is far away because we do not feel him. Keating, Thomas. Awakenings. PP. 38 -39.
No one ever knew God the way that Jesus knew him. (Mark 15:22-38). He penetrated the depths of the Ultimate Reality and revealed that the interior life of Limitless Being is relationship: a community of persons sharing infinite life and love. Jesus entered into that relationship, made it his own, and tried to transmit it to his disciples. For him, the Father, 'Abba,' was absolutely everything. In coming to the age of reason and to full reflective self-consciousness, Jesus never suffered from the feeling of separation from God that is our experience as we come to rational consciousness. This feeling of separation is the source of our deep sense of incompletion, guilt and alienation." Keating, Thomas, The Mystery of Christ. PP. 60-61
O servant, where dost thou seek Me? Lo! I am beside
I am neither in temple nor in mosque, I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash;
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see me;
Thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
Kabir says, 'O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath.'
Songs of Kabir, I, P.45.
Contemplation is our personal response to His mystical presence and activity within us. We suddenly realize that we are confronted with the infinitely rich source of all Being and all Love, and although we do not literally "see" Him, for our meeting takes place in the dark night of faith, yet there is something in the deepest center of our being, something at the very spiritual apex of our life, that leaps with elation at this contact with the Being of Him who is almighty. The spark that is struck within us by this touch of the finger of God kindles a sheet of flame that goes forth to proclaim His presence in every fibre of our being and to praise Him from the marrow of our bones. Merton, Thomas. Bread In The Wilderness. P.143. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It is important to develop intuition, or direct soul knowledge, for he who is God-conscious is sure of himself. He knows, and he knows that he knows. We must be sure of God's presence, as sure as we are that we know the taste of an orange. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.15.
(...) when you know yourself as soul you will have discovered the presence of God within you. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.118.
Right behind space is Intelligence. And right behind you is God. Live no longer in ignorance of His presence. Churn the darkness with your meditation. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.168.
He is with you every minute of your existence, yet the only way to realize this is to meditate. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.168.
Don't fall asleep at night until you actually feel some expression of the presence of God within you. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.169.
If you put a sealed jar of water in a tank of water, that which is in the jar is separated from that which surrounds the jar; but if you remove the lid, the water in the jar and the water in the tank can mingle. Similarly, ordinary people shut out God because their consciousness is sealed in by the lid of ignorance. When that lid is removed by right methods of meditation, one feels the peace of God inside and outside the body. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.170.
If you sink in the ocean of God you will live forevermore. Once you have found God, you experience real and lasting satisfaction. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.171.
The real smile is the smile of bliss that comes when you meditate, when you feel the joy of God's presence. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.172.
The limit of happiness is the presence of God, which completely fills the whole soul with His whole incorporeal and eternal light. And the limit of misery is His passing on the way (...) for the soul to be separated from the contemplation of the Existent One is the most complete of evils. Philo, a Jewish mystic of the I-st century. Quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.117.
If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its Master's presence. And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back and place it again in Our Lord's presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed. St. Francis de Sales. Quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.135.
As the bee seeks out only those flowers that are sweet with honey, so God comes only when your life is sweet with honeyed thoughts. Resolve that in your garden of good soul qualities you will not allow the evil stinkweed of anger to grow. The more you develop flowerlike divine qualities, the more God will reveal to you His secret omnipresence in your soul. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.208.
Moses said, "O Lord, are you close enough for me to whisper in your ear or so distant that I should shout?" And God said, "I am behind you, before you, at your right and your left. O Moses, I am sitting next to my servant whenever he remembers me, and I am with him when he calls me." Hadith, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.34.
O little man, God is a given fact. His existence needs no logical proof. If you must do something, then prove that you yourself have some dignity and rank in His presence. Rumi, Fihi Ma Fihi #21, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.97.
One who has experienced the baffling, humbling and liberating clarity of this immediate sense of what it means to be has in that very act experienced something of the presence of God. For God is present in me in the act of my own being, an act which proceeds directly form His will and is His gift. My act of being is a direct participation in the Being of God. God is pure Being, this is to say He is the pure and infinite Act of total Reality. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.221.
(...) my conversion to Catholicism began with the realization of the presence of God in this present life, in the world and in myself, and that my task as Christian is to live in full and vital awareness of this ground of my being and of the world's being. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.320.
Caiphus: "I feel a kind of presence, but I couldn't tell you which one of my five senses is warning me. It's all around and soft against me. I have a nose full of some sweet, overpowering odor; its fragrance is swallowing me up like the sea. It's a throbbing odor that's brushing up against me and looking at me, a giant sweetness seeping through my pores right into my heart. Some kind of life that isn't mine has chilled me to the marrow of my bones. I don't know what it is. I'm lost at the bottom of another life like at the bottom of a well; I'm smothering, I'm drowning in perfume, I can raise up my head and I don't see stars any more. All around me enormous pillars of some sort of tenderness I just don't understand are rising up right to the sky, and I feel smaller than a little worm." (Caiphus' perception of the passing by angel) - in: Bariona, or the Son of Thunder. [In]: The Writings of Jean-Paul Sartre. Vol.2. P.97.
I am longing for more depth of prayer and experience of God, but all seems to be just a quiet openness to his pervasive presence. I do not spend special time "centering" as I do at home. The whole seems centered already (...). Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.24.
The principal thing is to stand before God with the mind and heart and to go on standing before him night and day. Theophane the Recluse, quoted in: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.63.
Rather than struggling to overcome all sin and evil in us, all our bad tendencies, we seek to enter into the Divine Presence and be to God: "Be still and know that I am God." Instead of struggling with self to kill the old man ("mortification" - to make dead), we simply ignore him with all his beautiful or not so beautiful thoughts and feelings and desires and turn our whole attention to God. (...) So by ignoring self and turning our attention fully to God in silent, attentive prayer, we truly die to self and live to God. We come to taste him, understand him, be familiar with him, enjoy him. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.87.
I have been a month here at Simonos Petras. I do not know where the time goes. Each day disappears. I have a sort of fear that the whole retreat will just slip away without anything ever really happening. But then, what do I want to happen? Certainly I would be delighted if, in some real way, the Lord would show me his Face, let me experience him. But then he does, but in no sensational or dramatic way but in a very real constant Presence of peace and joy and love. I cannot be sufficiently grateful for what I have which is so much more than I could ever deserve. Yet I know the Lord is pleased at my constantly wanting more. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.135.
How true are the words Dom Edmund used to repeat to us: "The past and the future are only other forms of self; God is in the now." Each time i catch myself moving into this kind of self-indulgence, I have to let go and gently return to the present, where I stand in nakedness before God, an open cry for the healing shower of his merciful love. (...) Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.139.
I have not been getting any great lights or having particularly beautiful thoughts. But that is probably the way it should be. It is better to abide quietly with the Lord and enjoy his Presence than to be thinking beautiful thoughts about him. From this quiet love experience comes the desire and the strength to seek ever deeper union, grater purity, more oneness with God. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.243-4.
( ) There is something exceptional, unique, about the present event, which the previous, or the coming do not have. ( ) What makes the present so different? Obviously, my presence. I am real for I am always now, in the present, and what is with me now shares in my reality. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.7.
( ) Just keep in mind the feeling I am, merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling I am. Whatever you think, say, or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the everpresent background of the mind. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.48.
You cannot possibly say that you are what you think yourself to be! Your ideas about yourself change from day to day and from moment to moment. Your self-image is the most changeful thing you have. It is utterly vulnerable, at the mercy of a passer-by. A bereavement, the loss of a job, an insult, and your image of yourself, which you call your person, changes deeply. ( ) Our attitude is of I am this. Separate consistently and perseveringly the I am from this or that, and try to feel what it means to be, just to be ( ). Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.59-60.
Last updated: 2013/05/25