Seeking God

Father Guibert states that piety is the life of God within us. Piety seeks God, finds Him, becomes possessed of Him, and makes one participate in the very life of God.

“All religious endeavour, and particularly that of piety, sets man in motion towards God. The man of piety is a pilgrim on the way to find God. . . . He says with St. Augustine: ‘Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our heart cannot rest until it is stayed on Thee.’ . . . Is not God already our life when we feel such ardour, when He, too, becomes the object of a quest so engrossing and so eager?”

“Moreover, God does not conceal Himself from those who seek Him. He answers the pious Christian in the words that Pascal so often heard in the depths of his heart: ‘Be of good comfort; thou wouldst not seek Me, if thou hadst not found Me!’ To every man who seeks God Himself with all sincerity of spirit, Jesus says: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you’ (Matt 7:7). This promise is infallible only, and then alone deserves to be so, when God is the object of our quest.”

“After seeking for God throughout creation, it is at the bottom of his own heart that man finds Him. This is not because God has not left traces of His power throughout the universe, not because He has not filled the world with His glory, but because nowhere is He known so clearly, nowhere is He felt so deeply, as at the bottom of the human heart. ‘The kingdom of God is within you,’ said Jesus (Luke 17:21). For this is where the meeting in piety between man and God takes place; there it is that man hears these sweet and strong words: ‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore have I drawn thee, taking pity on thee’ (Jer 31:3). . . . There, too, it is that the Christian says to his God in the words of the Magdalene, ‘Rabboni (which is to say, Master)’ (John 20:16), or of the disciple brought back to the faith: ‘My Lord, and my God’ (John 20:28).”

Quotations from Jean Guibert, On Piety (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1911).

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