” LORD, I want to be with you”
Jesus teaches that God is closer than we are to ourselves — closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than choosing, closer than consciousness itself. In the saying about prayer in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:6), Jesus teaches that when we pray, we are to pray to Abba — not to the God of armies or to the God of strict justice, but to the God who is leaning over us like the most tender of parents. The God proclaimed by Jesus is every human relationship of love that is beautiful, good, and ture — all rolled into one and multiplied a trillion times over. According to Jesus’ teaching, God’s relationship to us is characterized by immense and continuous concern, care and tenderness, and by an all-inclusive forgiveness that extends to everything in our lives, from the moment of our conception until our death. . . .
Most people do not think of God as present all the time, let alone experience that presence. But this is our misfortune. What we take to be our everyday life is full of misconceptions. For example, we humans — all of us — are walking upside down on the planet. It is just gravity that keeps us from wandering off into space. Although in fact we stick out into space head first, nobody feels it, so scientists have to remind us that what we take for granted is not the way things actually are. Time and space as we see them are projections of a brain that seeks order and certitude. Spending regular periods of time in our inner room is a way of recognizing levels of reality beyond the limited dimensions of ordinary awareness.
Why do we find it so hard to believe that God is present at every moment? One possible answer might be that we are not sure we want to be in God’s presence all the time. Jesus invites us, urgently, to cultivate that relationship, but we may be more interested in other preoccupations — the childish things that Paul exhorts us to grow out of (1 Corinthians 13:11).
— Thomas Keating in Manifesting God
Stop for just a moment and think about when it is you feel closest to God. Do you believe God is close right now? Well, he is. Tell God, today, you love him and always want to be close to him. Do it right now.
Love in Christ,
The writings of Fr. Thomas Keating are taken from Spirituality and Practice. The reflections are my own.
M.Rev. Ed Jansen is the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Benedict and Rev. Dr. Trish Gaffney is its Vicar General
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