Whether we are aware of it or not, at every moment of our existence we are encountering God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who is trying to catch our attention, trying to draw us into a reciprocal conscious relationship.[1]

The above statement is the best practical application/definition of what human life is all about. This is the mystery of Presence. God is always present. Dr. Carl Young has this inscribe on his tombstone, “VOCATUS ATQUE NON VOCATUS DEUS ADERIT, (Invoked or not invoked, the god is present).”

These thoughts, given to meditation and then contemplation can offer us gifts of insight into God’s love for us. Gifts like an understanding of acceptance and interest that God has for us.

Example, have you ever had to sit and watch a person? Say, a fussy, hungry, well two-year old who has learned the word no. It can really test our patience. If the above statement is true, then God watches every two-year-old in the world as well as watch us. Yes, God watched our formative years with all our stumbling, failing, sometimes stupidly courageous, sometimes frightfully timid. God has watched all our sins and still, in the face of such disrespect and lack of appreciative understanding, God seeks a conscious reciprocal relationship.

I can honestly say that the happiest times of my life have been when God has awakened in me reminders of God’s love for me and in me. When God touched me, brought true illumination my way, and offered to exchange my continual self-loathing for opportunities for humble reflection.

How many times has God had to seek me out (even while pastoring a church) and guide me to remember what is at stake and why all people are important. All people are engaged in life. The physical world in which most people are competent in navigating and defending themselves and a spiritual world in which they are under attack all the time with lies and deceptions about both the right, left, middle or any other category one wishes to imagine or label.

Yes, we are all involved in a continuing cosmic drama. We face the hatred and fear of sentient beings who are hostile to human existence and operate primarily in the spiritual realm.  Jesus has overcome these beings and their leader. We have not. We only win spiritually when we learn to draw as near to God as we can so God’s strength and wisdom in discernment can be our strength and wisdom.

 I am thankful that God gives us the ability to grasp in faith the real presence of God that is around us all the time. A God who not only walks with me, but also when invited, lives in my heart. It is this promise of the presence that makes every day an opportunity to be overcomers in our spiritual struggles and to discover even more ways in which VOCATUS ATQUE NON VOCATUS DEUS ADERIT.

[1] Barry, William A.. Finding God in All Things: A Companion to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (pp. 14-15). Ave Maria Press – A. Kindle Edition.

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