Teresa of Avila wrote, “In as much as ye seek Him, there ye shall find Him.”
When I first read that statement, some years ago, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
It seemed to linger in my thoughts, my prayers; even in the tasks and duties that were sprinkled amidst my “everyday” living.
It took a while for the meaning and blessing of Teresa’s words to inculcate themselves in my soul.
But, now…I “get it.”
The Lord is who He is. He is always completely and 100 % present and available to us.
When we feel distanced from God, or when we lament that we can’t “feel” His presence in our lives, it is not because He has “moved”; for God is unchanging and always fully and completely “there”.
Rather, when we can not hear His voice or feel His abiding presence in our souls, it is because we have ceased to “seek” Him. At times, we might think we have sought Him, but upon closer inspection of the state of our spiritual lives, and we might come to realize that we have not.
Especially when life has thrown those curve balls our way and we are being tried, tested, and pummeled to our very cores, we tend to get nervous and/or depressed if we are not constantly “feeling” something that we associate with God’s presence. Some call this a “dry spell”.
We humans have grown, over the years, to relate “how we feel” with the state of our success, satisfaction, and spiritual health. However, these things do not always coincide. Just because we do not “feel” something does not mean it is not there.
Saint Teresa reminds us that if we wish to find God, we must seek Him. And, since the Lord is an Infinite Being, the more we seek Him, the more we will find Him, because there is no end to His Presence among us.
Perhaps, it behooves us to consider various ways to go about “seeking” God in our lives.
* Reading the Bible (This holy book contains the very Word of God and one can not read it without being aware of God, Himself)
* Consciously looking for Him and reminding ourselves that He is in those whose paths cross ours, each day. There is no such thing as a “casual” conversation if we train ourselves to become aware that He is among us when we interact with one another.
* Praying “unceasingly” as Saint Paul taught. Whether we embrace the devotions and customary prayers of our Faith or develop a contemplative/meditative spirit as we go about our day, offering all that we think, say, and do to Christ, we will soon see that prayer leads to God and the more we pray the more we are seeking and the more we shall find Him.
* Standing in awe of His Creation. We all know that being on earth in the year 2012 means “busy-ness”. However, if we will take time to gaze, to ponder, to enjoy, and to be amazed by the beauty, simplicity, complexities, and spectacular creation that surrounds us, we will become more aware of God’s presence in our daily lives. Even something as simple as an Autumn-colored leaf, drifting slowly to the ground, is a reminder to us that “God is there” and also an invitation to us to “seek Him”.
* Spending time in the presence of the Eucharist. This, I think, is the ultimate way for us, as Catholics to seek God. We can never fully fathom the blessing and gift that Jesus has given us by choosing to remain with us, on earth, through His physical presence in the Eucharist. “Fear not, for I am with you, always; even unto the end of the world”, He said in Matthew 28:20. If we seek God in the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus, we will find Him.
I now understand that Saint Teresa was telling us that our relationship with God, our awareness of His presence in our lives, and our fulfillment and satisfaction in our faith life is directly related to how much/often we are actively seeking God in our days.
“In as much as we seek Him, we shall find Him.”
Copyright 2012 Judy Dudich