My dear Covenant Partners and GEM Family:
The Practice of the Presence of God throughout the day has been a long-standing tradition among holy men and women throughout the existence of the Church. Several practices have developed over the centuries to foster the practice of the Presence of God, like the Jesus Prayer which was well established by the 6th century among the desert fathers and mothers. In the 16th century, through his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola advocated the practice of constant gratitude as was highlighted by St. Paul in his letters: “This is to ask for what I desire. Here it will be to ask for an intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty” (The Spiritual Exercises, #233). Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection was a French Carmelite lay monk of the 17th century. He was in constant intimate conversation with God throughout the day: "I began to live as if there were no one save God and me in the world." Together, God and Brother Lawrence cooked meals, ran errands, scrubbed pots, and endured the scorn of the world.
Holy men and women become saturated with the Presence of God throughout the day because they have accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord. They have acknowledged their sins, repented of them through God’s forgiveness, and have made a serious commitment “in all things to love and serve the Divine Majesty.” In receiving new life in Jesus, they have made some important decisions regarding values, lifestyle, and behaviors, aligning themselves with the teachings of Jesus. In receiving God’s forgiveness, they have learned to forgive themselves, and more importantly, forgive others as God forgives us and asks that we do the same. Their generous response springs from having an overwhelming sense of God’s love for them. Their response, under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, produces lasting results, like being in a state of consolation or pointed in God’s direction, avoiding deliberate sin, being focused on doing everything for the establishment of God’s kingdom, and satisfying their hunger for God by conversing with God throughout the day.
When God created us in His image and likeness, He established us in a covenant relationship with Him. If there were no sin in us, we would recognize God’s presence in us as well as in others. If there were no sin in us, we would live in God and God in us. Jesus re-established us in God’s original plan through His death and resurrection. Through Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, we have been re-created in the image and likeness of Jesus. As we move deeper into covenant union with the Blessed Trinity through Jesus, we put on the mind and heart of Jesus. Among other things, the practice of the presence of God becomes our normal state of soul and lifestyle. We are truly living in the Resurrection and Life of Jesus. God bless you. You are in our daily prayers!