God Within Us

Father Cassilly writes: “To live or abide in a place means much more than a casual or temporary stay. The traveler, who is in need of shelter or refreshment, puts up in an inn or hotel, or camps by stream or wayside. But only a permanent place of abode is called a home. . . . Man, having a body, must have a habitat for it, a domicile where he may find repose when weary, and store what is necessary for his manifold needs. . . . In the home are ease and respite from toil, and all arrangements for comfort and convenience. Here the owner is master. At least one spot on earth is his where he can come and go at will. . . . Humble indeed and lowly this home may be, only a cabin on the moor, a hut in the wilderness, but at least it is sacred, safe from prying intrusion.”

“God, then, coming to dwell in the soul makes it His home. Men who can choose their abode pick out a location favored by nature’s charms, where the wind blows free, under sunlit heavens, and nigh to forest, field and stream. Like a diamond in its setting, they place their retreat where weald and wold bloom fairest. Does God act differently? Has He less care of His home than man? Would He dwell in an unkept hovel open to wind and weather, where dust and grime contest His sway? No, the home of the Deity in which He would take pleasure, should be swept and garnished, pure and undefiled; hence He cannot dwell in the sinful soul, which must be purged, before His entrance, of grievous sin.”

“But the most stately of manors, enclosed by park and hedge, is not always a home; nor even the cheeriest of bungalows, half-hid by climbing roses, and girt by velvet lawn and gay borders of flowers. These may be but a prison house to the fettered spirits of the unwilling tenants. . . . Within our soul God dwells gladly. He is not imprisoned there against His will, and so it is His home where He loves to be. There He is unconstrained and free, perfectly at ease. He is master and owner in the house He has built without hands. No one there disputes His right to be and possess, to dispose and arrange at pleasure.”

Quotations from Francis Cassilly, A Story of Love, 2d ed. (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1917).

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