When I was a teenager, I was moved when I heard a Communion chant: “Whoever is seeking God and cannot see how close he is, he should open his eyes if he can. He will hear him speak. Listen, my friend, if you will, to what I am going to tell you — where I have found him always, whenever I begin to doubt.” The song explains how God can be found in the peaceful dawn, in a wheat field, in the breeze that mingles with our tears, as well as in a grateful friend.
In our tireless striving to find the truth and reach the transcendent, if we open the eyes of our heart, we are able to perceive God’s presence through his creation. Human beings have a capacity for God.
Without a doubt, a stubborn truth-seeker was St. Augustine. He was famous for seeking the truth within himself. St. Augustine’s interiorization exercises were profound, nourished by a large dose of discernment and reflection.
Augustine, seeking the truth in his interior, at the same time confesses: God is the truth. God is therefore found in our interior. God is the beginning and the end of life.
It is, in fact, deep within us where we can achieve the deepest encounters with God. The intimacy of our heart, robed by the stillness of our soul, can lead us to the intimacy with our Father, our creator; his Son, our redeemer; and the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies us. Think of that sublime moment after receiving Communion when we enjoy the silence and feel deep inside us the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, experiencing what the psalmist promised: “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:9).
Sadly, many are not daring enough to journey within themselves, and thus they miss the chance to meet God in the depths of their being. For some, this is due to lack of practice. Others don’t want to spend the time, as it requires steadiness and quietness, and today everything is expected instantaneously.
But many more don’t do it because they are afraid. They refuse to journey inside because they know they will inevitably meet themselves. They are terrified by the idea of facing themselves and their weakness, their misery, their vice, their selfishness, their trespasses against others and their sins. It is easier to pretend these don’t exist, so it is more comfortable to stay outside of oneself.
But we must undertake this journey, even if it can be painful, because when we reach the depths, we will meet God, who is all love and who will be able to redeem us from everything that hurts us and makes us feel ashamed.
Let us then go into our inner room, close the door, and meet with our Father in secret (Matthew 6:6).
Be passionate about our faith!
Northwest Catholic - July/August 2020