Books: Presence of God

September 28, 2010

The following article appeared in US Catholic titled:  “What books can reveal to us about the presence of God?” by Colleen Mary Carpenter
Books have a special way of opening our imaginations to moments of grace in life.

Catholics are a sacramental people. We see signs of the presence of God around us in every moment of our lives. We know, of course, that God is greater than we can imagine and beyond all that we can touch, but we are also convinced that creation, from the most ordinary–water, oil, bread–to the most unlikely–the stranger, the enemy, the cross–can reveal divine love. 

This is the ideal–to see God all around us–yet in our daily lives it is all too easy to sleepwalk our way past revelatory moments. We are so busy, so frantic, so distracted, that we miss much of what is going on around us.

If we really want to live as a sacramental people, we need to deliberately cultivate the habit of waking up to the presence of God, and to do that we need to cultivate our imaginations. We need to develop the insight and judgment to understand what is happening around us. One way to do this is to look to the stories we tell one another.”

 There are just so many wonderful insights in these few paragraphs:  The idea that God can be found in everything– including what we read;  the idea of deliberately living as sacramental people; and the idea of waking up to God’s presence in our lives.  

What specific books were sacramental moments for me?  (i.e. what books helped move you to a new understanding of God?)
Do I need to return to any of these books to further relish a point of grace? 
What does deliberately living as a sacramental person look like for me? 

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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