DSC_0243By Judy Villanueva

Psalm 5:3

I say this prayer to you, Yahweh, for at daybreak you listen for my voice; and at dawn I hold myself in readiness for you. I watch for you.

“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present…the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.” Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

The sound of happy squeals filled the living room on New Year’s morning. The Rose Parade was on in the background while the foreground enjoyed an eruption of four-year old giggles! Our grandson stumbled into a game where he would jump behind grandpa on the couch, and eagerly wait for him to lean back! “Stop, Papi, stop!” he would cry, and Papi would then lean forward so that our little one could squirm free. It amazed me that each time he got squished was a new moment of fresh joy…over and over again! I quietly marveled at the beauty of presence and the capacity of children to free-fall into the middle of it!

As the year begins, like most of us, I find myself thinking about fresh starts and living more “on purpose”.  Watching my grandson makes me hungry for the freedom to get lost in present moments…to welcome and not hurry them away.  It reminds me of Brother Lawrence’s experiment where he endeavored to practice God’s presence throughout the day.  His goal was to live in expanding awareness of God.

Our lives are lived entering and exiting divine awareness. We awaken to God one minute and forget Him the next.

Responsibilities and schedules tend to tempt our attention away from God incrementally, until sadly, we can find the day spent without much thought of Him at all.  I wonder if the fullness of life that the Bible speaks of doesn’t have everything to do with

remembering God and allowing His beautiful presence to shower our moments with love and hope and wonder and blessed expectation.

And, I wonder if our capacity to free-fall into the middle of moments grows as we live with God in expanding awareness, play in His presence,  and lose all track of time in the pleasure of His company!

“Father, help me to enter and re-enter awareness of your presence throughout the day. I am easily derailed by work and worry…good things and careless things. Thank You that Your attention is constant and real. Amen.”

What about you?

What would it be like to live a day ready and watching for God?

How do you do at “practicing God’s presence” throughout the day?

Do you experience “fresh joy” and freedom to lose track of time with God?

The practice of returning to awareness of God’s presence is a powerful and life-transforming prayer!

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2 thoughts on “Presence

  1. I don’t remember thinking about God until I started Catholic School. I remember
    coming in from recess, Sister would have us quiet down, and for a few minutes
    think of the presence of God before we continued our lessons. The first time this happen, I really did not know what I was suppose to do or think, so to get a clue I watched the girls, and boys around me. In time I not only learned but was looking forward to these few minutes of quiet.
    For me, one gift of old age is the peace,and assurance of God during these quiet times….I am aware that in these times of peace I am more aware of His presence ……and to know He is with me gives me great comfort.

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