Making ourselves present to God

Have you ever questioned the purpose of prayer; ever wondered whether God was listening? Perhaps we are missing the point, unaware of the true nature of our presence with God. We don’t pray for God to become present in our lives because God is present, always and everywhere. We pray so that we become present to God.

In his Confessions St. Augustine wrote: “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things that you created. You were with me, but I was not with you.”

In the song Lookin’ for Love Waylon Jennings sang “I was looking for love in all the wrong places…” The song, while less eloquent than that of St. Augustine, expresses the same sentiment. Too often we are not present to the beauty, love, and grace that exist within the ordinary moments of our lives. Life is full of abundant richness but we aren’t present to accept it. We are too busy looking in all the wrong places, looking everywhere but within our own selves; too often we are not enough inside of ourselves to appreciate what God has provided for us. We are living outside of ourselves, not present to the beauty and riches within.

The purpose of prayer is not to try to make God present, but to make ourselves present to God; it is the same with discovering the beauty and richness of life. God and all His wondrous creation are present but we are not because we are looking elsewhere. We must look within, love who we are, and be present in the moment. Like St. Augustine, we are outside, searching for something that exists within us. We don’t have to look for Love elsewhere. God is present, Love is present. All you have to do is be present, to look within to see the face of God.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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