The following sample from the series is by the late Father Kilian McGowan, C.P.
The thin, gray-haired penitent hunched over a rough table as he
slowly penned a letter to his sister.
Looking at him now, you'd
never dream that he had been a French Army officer, an explorer,
a member of the Foreign Legion, and even a Trappist.
His wild life had caused his expulsion from the Legion, but now he was
leading a life more penitential than a Trappist!
"God is in us," the ex-Trappist wrote, "in the depths of our soul,
He listens to us-advises us to converse with Him.
Train your children to chat freely with this Divine Guest. And may you do
likewise. In performing your duties, God will perform them with
you. Gradually, you will become accustomed to this sweet
Companion-to this God of your heart."
It was the truth of the Divine Indwelling that had transformed
the life of Charles de Foucald. He knew by experience what our
Lord means when He promised: "If anyone loves me, he will keep my
word, and My Father will love him and We will come to him."
(John 14:23). De Foucald was constantly aware of the Indwelling
of God by grace.
We all envy this wonderful trait. And we often wish that we
could be more conscious of the nearness of God. We know that a
profound appreciation of this truth alone could refashion our
Why aren't we like de Foucald? Perhaps we really aren't convinced
that God is anxious to be invited to our interior home-and to be
entertained in the depths of our hearts.
Listen then to the author of the Imitation : "God pays frequent visits to the
interior man. He speaks to him with kindness. He grants him
amazing familiarity, an abundant peace, an astonishing familiarity.
Oh, grant Him a place there."
For your enjoyment, God decorated the heavens with the sun, moon,
and stars. For you, He clothed the earth with the flowers and
the fields, the streams and the mountains.
But amidst all these wonders and in all the vastness of the universe, there
is but one place He designed for His occupancy-and that is your heart.
A young French Carmelite of the past century also centered her
spiritual life on this dynamic truth. Writing to her sister,
Sister Elizabeth said: "It seems to me that this is the secret
of holiness, and how simple it is. We bear life within us and
our life is an anticipated heaven...I have found my heaven on
earth, for heaven is God-and God is within my soul."
At another time, writing to a married sister, she said: "This
heaven is in the inmost center of the soul. Is not this a simple
and consoling thought?
In the midst of your cares as a mother and housewife, you can always
withdraw into this solitude.
When you are distracted by your many duties, you can-if you
will-refresh yourself by descending into the depth where your
Divine Guest has His dwelling."
There are four ways especially to build up your awareness of God's
dwelling in your soul:
1) Attention. Be thoughtful enough to recall His Presence often.
An interior glance takes but a moment; a short prayer, a moment
2) Conversation. Speak to your indwelling God frequently. But
speak to Him as present. Speak to Him in your own words. Be
spontaneous and simple.
3) Renunciation. Firmly resolve to renounce absolutely whatever
would evict your Divine Guest. Mortal sin desecrates His Temple
and drives God away.
4) Imitation. As imitation is the highest form of praise, strive
to be more Godlike in all things. The spiritual life is above all
else a loving friendship with the Blessed Trinity. Imitation is
the proof of love.
Yes, anyone can find his heaven on earth, because Heaven is
God-and God is in your soul!
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