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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Great Mistake

If it be a great mistake, as has been already said, to converse mistrustfully with God, to be always coming before Him as a slave, full of fear and confusion, comes before his prince, trembling with dread, it would be a greater to think that conversing with God is but weariness and bitterness. No, it is not so: Her conversation hath no bitterness, nor her company any tediousness. Ask those souls who love him with a true love, and they will tell you that in the sorrows of their life they find no greater, no truer relief, than in a loving converse with God.

Now this does not require that you continually apply your mind to it, so as to forget all your employments and recreations. It only requires of you, without putting these aside, to act towards God as you act on occasion towards those who love you and whom you love.

Your God is ever near you, nay, within you: In Him we live, and move, and be. There is no barrier at the door against any who desire to speak with Him; nay, God delights that you should treat with Him confidently.
Treat with Him of your business,
your plans, your griefs,
your fears,
of all that concerns you.
Above all,
do so with confidence,
with an open heart.
For God is not wont to speak to the soul that speaks not to Him ; forasmuch as, if it be not used to converse with Him, it would little understand His voice when He spoke to it. And this is what the Lord complains of: Our sister is little : what shall we do to our sister in the day when she is to be spoken to? Our sister is but a child in my love ; what shall we do to speak to her if she understand Me not ?
God will have Himself esteemed
the Lord of surpassing power and terribleness,
when we despise His grace;
but, on the contrary,
He will have himself treated with
as the most affectionate friend when we love him;
and to this end
He would have us often speak with Him
familiarly and without restraint.
St. Alphonsus, How to Converse Familiarly with God, Part III

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