God is in me

Perhaps it is the advance of time and maturing years that move us toward the mystical. When what lies ahead is closer than the distant ever fading past we find ourselves contemplating the mysterious and the unknowable, seeking answers to questions that reach out beyond our own existence. What awaits us beyond our brief moment here on earth becomes the pressing question when we come to the startled realization that the answer has somehow become an immediate if not urgent concern.

I find myself these days becoming more and more a student of the mystical, trying to discern what and who is God. I wish to discover His why, His purpose for creating me and you and all of us. I find great comfort in reading and studying the mystics that have come before and have left their mark on history.

Pierre Tielhard de Chardin wrote in his book Divine Milieu:

All around us, to right and left, in front and behind, above and below, we have only to go a little beyond the frontier of sensible appearances in order to see the divine welling up and showing through. But it is not only close to us, in front of us, that the divine presence has revealed itself. It has sprung up universally, and we find ourselves so surrounded and transfixed by it, that there is no room left to fall down and adore it, even within ourselves.

By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us, penetrates us and moulds us. We imagined it as distant and inaccessible, whereas in fact we live steeped in its burning layers.”

What Tielhard de Chardin is telling us is that the divine is literally all around us, so much so that we literally cannot escape being an integral part of the divine milieu of God. God is neither distant nor inaccessible primarily because “we live steeped in its burning layers.”

Milieu is a French word which means one’s surroundings or environment. Tielhard de Chardin says that the divine exists wherever we may look, always and everywhere, that our milieu is in fact divine. John Kirvan in Silent Hope adds that “Not only was humanity where he looked, so was God. Not only is God there, but so is the fullness of our humanity. Only scratch the surface of our life and our humanity will well up and show through. So will God.”

Knowing that God is close that “we live steeped in its burning layers” ought to bring great comfort. We don’t have to search far at all to find the divine for He is within us, He surrounds us, He fills us so “that there is no room left to fall down and adore it, even within ourselves.”

Kwaja Abdullah Ansari wrote “My God, I left behind the whole world to search for you. But you were the whole world, and I could not see it.” God is neither here nor there in the world. God is the world in which we live. John Kirvan writes “… we are … no more conscious of God than we are of our own breath, it becomes a matter of … pausing long enough to remember: ‘I am breathing. I am in God. God is in me.”

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: http://deaconscorner.org. 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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