30 March 2023

30 March, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

The Presence of God

1. God sees us always, for He is everywhere. “In Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) We did not exist, and He produced us from nothing, by His omnipotence. If He did not support us continually, we should return to nothingness, for conservation is a continuous act of creation. But He has given us immortal souls, and has created us for Himself so that we may serve, enjoy and love Him for all eternity. We are always in His presence. He sees clearly everything which we think, desire or do, even our most secret hidden actions. Do we perfectly grasp this tremendous truth? Are we aware of it at every moment of our lives, and do we make it the guide for our conduct? If we were to live continually in the presence of God, our lives would be angelic rather than human, for we would not allow ourselves to commit even the slightest sin nor to be guilty of the least thought, word or action which might offend Him. The more we fail in our awareness of the presence of God the more disordered our actions become. Let us resolve, therefore, to live continually in the presence of God and to direct all our thoughts, desires and actions towards Him.

2. In times of temptation it is especially necessary for us to place ourselves in the presence of God. We are courting disaster if we do not raise our minds and hearts to God to implore His help when temptation assails us. Like the Apostles on the lake of Genesareth when their frail boat was battered by the storm- tossed waves and was in danger of being wrecked, let us cry out with the same faith and confidence when we are assaulted by the devil: “Lord, save us! We are perishing! (Mt. 8:25) God knows our weakness and will certainly have mercy on us. Let us not lose courage if He seems to be slow in granting His enlightenment and His grace and leaves us prey to the onslaughts of our passions. Like the Canaanite woman in the Gospel, let us continue to pray with constancy and with faith, and the merciful God will take pity on us at last.
3. A man who lives always in the presence of God cannot sin. When we find ourselves in the presence of a high-ranking worldly personality, do we dare to behave any other way but correctly and respectfully? How should we dare, then, to behave in any other fashion in the presence of the infinite majesty of God, our Creator and Redeemer, Who will one day also be our Judge? Could He not in a single instant snap the thread of our mortal life and call us before His judgment-seat even while we are in the act of offending Him? Let us remember St. Paul's stern warning: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:31) Let us remain always in the presence of God and we shall be at peace and strong in His grace.

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