Adult Faith Formation Column for the Sunday Bulletin of St. Michael Parish, Livermore, California

This weekly column is a short meditation on the Bible readings of the Sunday Mass. The meditations are direct quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, writings of the Saints, and similar orthodox sources.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday 18 September 2011

Seek the Lord While He May Be Found

    Talk with God with the thoughts of which your heart is full.
If you enjoy the presence of God, if you feel drawn to love him,
tell him so.  Such sensible fervor will make the time of prayer fly
without exhausting you, for all you will have to do is to pour forth
from your abundance and say what you feel.

    But what, you ask, are you to do in times of dryness, inner
resistance, and coldness?  Do just the same thing.  Say equally
what is in your heart.  Tell God that you no longer feel any love
for him, that all is a terrible blank to you, that he wearies you, that
his presence does not even move you, that you long to leave him
for the most trifling occupation, and that you will not feel happy till
you have left him and can turn to thinking about yourself.  Tell him
all the evil you know about yourself.

    See, how can you even ask what there is to talk to God about?
Alas, there is only too much!  But when you tell him about your
miseries, ask him to cure them.  Say to him, "O my God, behold my
ingratitude, my inconstancy, my infidelity.  Take my heart, for I do
not know how to give it to you.  Give me an inner distaste for
external things; give me crosses necessary to bring me back under
your yoke.  Have mercy on me in spite of myself!"  In this way, either
God's mercies or your own miseries will always give you enough
to talk to him about.  The subject will never be exhausted!

    In either of these two states I have described, tell him without
hesitation everything that comes into your head, with the simplicity
and familiarity of a little child sitting on its mother's knee.

                    -- François Fénelon (1651-1715)
                        Talking With God, Chapter 1

            The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
                            (Psalm 145)

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