The Passion and the Presence of God

Were any one to ask me, no matter at what moment, "Of what are you thinking?" it seems to me I could reply, "God alone occupies my mind."

Though I find myself in so wretched a condition that I feel as if I no longer possess faith, hope, or charity, nor even that natural light which other men enjoy, so that I seem to be like an animal, even then, were I asked of what I was thinking, I could truthfully say that in the depth of my soul I have God alone present with me.

It seems to me impossible not to think of God, our soul being filled with God and we absorbed in God. In the Pater Noster do we not say, "Who art in heaven"? Ah well! our soul is a spiritual heaven; there the Divine Majesty has His throne. How, then, is it possible to forget God, or not to love Him?

I recommend to you particularly to keep yourself in the presence of God, not by a dry and sterile study, but affectionately and peaceably, in order to imbibe His spirit. This practice is a powerful means of establishing, between God and the soul, a holy union of charity.

"Walk before Me and be perfect." (Genesis 17:1) Let everything recall to you the presence of God. If, for example, you go into the garden and see some flowers, ask one of them. What are you? It will not reply, I am a flower. No, but it will say to you, Ego vox - I am a preacher; I preach the power, the wisdom, the goodness, the beauty, the prudence of our great God.

Imagine that the flower makes you this reply, and let it penetrate your heart and teach you a lesson of divine love.

- text taken from Flowers of the Passion, taken from the letters of Saint Paul of the Cross