Deep within each soul is hidden a gift of indescribable importance. It’s a gift given out of the infinite love and mercy of God to enable our souls to draw close to Him. What is this gift? It is the upper room, the inner cell of the heart, the interior castle; it is the innermost dwelling place of God within the soul. It is the only place where one can be absolutely alone with God. There, resting in His presence, the soul can unburden itself of all the things of earth and soak up the peace that emanates from His Most Sacred Heart. The soul can bring all its questions, doubts, fears and concerns and confide everything to the One Person who will never let the soul down. In true abandonment the soul can entrust all its joys, hopes and desires to this best of Friends knowing that in His infinite love and mercy all will be provided for. It is here in this dwelling place that the soul meets its Creator and slowly begins to take on His likeness and begins to reflect Him to others. Those that the soul encounters are drawn to His reflection and are brought back in touch with the Source of all Love and Mercy. Then those souls begin upon this same journey and start drawing those around them also.
But how does one actually get to this meeting place with God, to this awareness of His presence?
Besides asking for the grace, one also has to find the right vehicle to bring them there. For some the vehicle is visualization. You may picture yourself and God walking in a forest, sitting by a stream, resting on a mountainside. For others it may be tactile and as simple as holding a crucifix or holding a statue of our Lady close to your heart. Still others may experience God through music. The rhythmic sound of falling rain, the beauty and order of a symphony or the graceful voice of a trained singer may plunge one into a new awareness of God. Breathing-prayers such as the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”) or a phrase such as “more of You Lord, less of me Lord” can also be helpful tools to enter into the silence of one’s heart.
These are only a few examples of the many different ways to enter into this dwelling place. In all truth, there are as many different vehicles as there are people in the world because each soul is unique and will have its own avenues and ways to relate to our Lord that another soul will not.
However, it must be remembered that the discovery of this hidden place is a process and takes time. God will lead the soul there in His time. The soul must, above all else, have the desire to find this new and intimate way of relating with our Lord and also be willing to experiment with different vehicles. To ask for the grace and to live out our desire through trial and error is all we can do—the rest is up to our Lord. The purest intention we can have is to ask to find this dwelling place not for our own comfort or consolation, but for the sake of the souls we will encounter through life.
—By Br. James of the Holy Spirit, OSIHJM