The presence of God

Deacon Peter Mueller

“I am the Almighty God” (Genesis 17:1) with these words God revealed Himself to Abraham. God is all powerful because He can do all that He wills; and this He can do as He wills, when He wills, without any limitations.

“Whatsoever the Lord pleased He has done, in heaven, in earth, in the sea, and in all the deeps”.

Nothing can deter His action, nor oppose His will; nothing is difficult to Him. Our works, even the simplest, require time, fatigue, material changes, and collaboration: God’s works, even the greatest, are performed in one instant by a single word.

He has brought all things out of nothing; light, the heavens, the earth, the seas, and the whole universe were made. Our words often are empty sounds; they are scattered in the air, producing no effect. God’s work, is all-powerful, creative, functioning, and effective, so that it produces whatever it expresses. God is so mighty that, after creating man free, He rules and directs him according to His good pleasure, without swaying man’s liberty in any way. God is so almighty that He can change men, into His adopted sons to share His divine life, He is so almighty that He can draw good, even from evil. He can do all the good He wishes. How much we need the help of this unlimited authority, we who are so weak that, even seeing and willing the good, we are often incapable of doing it.

God alone is almighty, He is the only one who possesses power by nature; we, like other creatures are without power, incapable of doing anything. Without the agreement of the Divine, the sun cannot shine, fire cannot burn nor can the flowers bloom; and man cannot perform even the slightest act. This is the great truth with Jesus taught us: “…for cut off from me you can do nothing”: (John 15:5). Our power and ability do not have their origin in us, but in God alone; “all our competence comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5). This thought should keep us humble. Left to ourselves we could not even formulate a thought or say a word. Our helplessness should not discourage us because God in his goodness has communicated His being to us as well as His goodness and His power, and He is prepared to communicate these to us in greater measure, the more humble He sees us to be, and the more convinced we are of our helplessness.

St. Teresa of Avila said “Teresa alone can do nothing but with Jesus she can do all things.”

The reason for so many of our failures in the works of our life and in our progress in virtue is because we do not rely adequately on the Divine Presence. We count too much on help from other men, we must do all that we are able to do. We must never hope for success from our own efforts but only from the Divine Presence. Everything from the will of God will be good and useful for us, and will reflect the glory of God’s name. “…illumine my intellect by your wisdom, make my will good by your sovereign goodness, strengthen my faculties by your wonderful power, so that I may know you, love you and serve you with fortitude” (Venerable L. Du Pont).

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith is the foundation of all our relations with Him. For the man without faith, God has neither meaning, nor value, nor place in his life. Our intellect can give us only natural thoughts of God, faith gives us supernatural light that is a participation in the light of God, in the knowledge God has of Himself and of creatures.

Thoughts from Divine Intimacy Meditations On The Interior Life For Every Day Of the Liturgical Year: Rockford Illinois 1996, Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., Tan Books and Publishers, Inc.

Each month a member of the Cook County Ministerium will offer Spiritual Reflections. This month our contributor is Deacon Peter Mueller of St. John’s Catholic Church in Grand Marais.

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