By a Parish Priest
The Catholic Church the Teacher of Mankind
Imprimatur, 1905


If you wish to find a short and compendious method, which contains in itself all other means, and is most efficacious for overcoming every temptation and difficulty, and for acquiring perfection, it is the exercise of the presence of God.
--------  St. Basil

In the midst of our employments we ought to have God present to our minds, in imitation of the holy Angels, who, when they are sent to attend on us, so acquit themselves of the functions of this exterior ministry as never to be drawn from their interior attention to God.
-------- St. Bonaventure

He who desires to make any progress in the service of God must begin every day of his life with new ardor, must keep himself in the presence of God as much as possible, and must have no other view or end in all his actions but the Divine honor.
-------- St. Charles Borromeo

When I attentively consider, O Lord, that Thou hast Thine eyes as continually and as carefully fixed upon me as if neither in heaven nor on earth Thou hadst any creature to govern besides myself; when I think Thou beholdest all my actions, that Thou dost penetrate my most hidden and secret thoughts, and that all my desires are in Thy sight, I feel myself filled with confusion.
-------- St. Augustine

As there is not a moment in which man enjoys not the effects of God's goodness, so there ought not to be a moment but he should have God present in his thoughts.
-------- St. Ambrose
In all our thoughts and actions we ought to remember the presence of God, and account all lost in which we think not of Him.
-------- St. Bernard

God is to be feared in public; to be feared in private; go in where thou wilt, He sees thee; light thy lamp, He sees thee; quench its light; He sees thee. Fear Him who ever beholds thee. If thou wilt sin, seek a place where He cannot see thee, and then do what thou wilt.
-------- St. Augustine

We avoid the eyes of men, and in God's presence we commit sin. We know God to be the Judge of all, and yet in His sight we sin.
-------- St. Ambrose

Who shall dare, in the presence of his prince, to do what displeases that prince?
-------- St. Basil

He who remembers the presence of God is less open to other thoughts, especially bad thoughts. As long as we believe that God sees us, we are restrained from daring to sin before such a Witness and Judge. In two ways the presence of God is an antidote against sin: first, because God sees us, and secondly, because we see God.
-------- St. Ignatius

He is never absent, and yet He is far from the thoughts of the wicked: yet He is not absent, when far away, for where He is not present by grace He is present by vengeance.
-------- St. Gregory

This thought alone would save anyone from falling into sin: to remember that God is always present. St. Clement
The prodigal went far away, and fled into a distant country, but he did not escape from his witnesses, from the accusing eyes of his father
-------- . St. John Chrysostom

In thy strife with the devil, thou hast for spectators the Angels and the Lord of Angels.
-------- St. Ephrem

I will not turn my eyes from Thee, because Thou dost not turn away Thine eyes from me.

I have labored much, seeking Thee out of Thyself, and Thou dwellest in me, if only I desire Thee.
-------- St. Augustine

It behooves thee to be very careful, for thou livest under the eyes of the Judge who beholds all things.
-------- St. Bernard

Surely, if we remembered that God sees us when we sin, we should never do what displeases Him.
-------- St. Jerome

Though everyone that worketh evil hateth the light, and seeketh darkness, yet he cannot be hidden from God, whose eyes look down upon all things.
------ St. Innocentius


Disengage thyself a while from earthly care, and give thyself for a time to think of God, and to repose a little in Him. Then, having closed the door of thy senses, say with the affection of thy soul: O Lord, behold I am in quest of Thy lovely Countenance; teach Thy poor servant how to find it.
------ St. Augustine

As birds have their nest where to retire, and deer their brakes and thickets to which to resort, either to enjoy the cool shade in the heat of summer, or to protect and defend themselves, so ought we to choose some place every day, either on Mount Calvary or in the Wounds of Our Lord, or nigh unto Him, whither to retreat on all occasions, there to refresh and recreate, or else to defend ourselves, as in a stronghold, against temptation. Happy the soul that can truly say to Our Lord: "Thou art a house of refuge unto me; my protection from thorns, and my shadow from the heat."
------ St. Francis of Sales

Those who can enclose within the little paradise of the soul Him who created heaven and earth, may well believe they are in a good road, and that they shall not fail to arrive at length at the fountain of life, because they will make great progress in a short time.
------  St. Teresa

Be assured that he who shall always walk faithfully in God's presence, always ready to give Him an account of all his actions, shall never be separated from Him by consenting to sin.
------ St. Thomas Aquinas

Some there are who visit with great devotion holy places and solemn shrines. I do not condemn their piety, but I would remind them that faith teaches us that our own interior is also a sanctuary, because it is the living temple of God, and the dwelling of the Most Holy Trinity. Let us enter, then, into this temple, and adore Our Lord there in spirit and in truth: this is a most sublime devotion. Make frequent visits to this interior sanctuary, and see that the lamps be ever burning there. These lamps are the virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Your soul is the temple in which the living God dwells by faith.
------ St. Paul of the Cross

By interior recollection we retire into God, or draw God within ourselves. But when and where can we have recourse to it? At all times, and in all places. Neither repast, nor company, nor change, nor occupation can hinder it, as neither does it hinder or interfere with any action. On the contrary, it is a salt which seasons every kind of meat, or a sugar which spoils no sauce. It consists only in interior looks between the soul and God.
------ St. Francis of Sales

Let a man always think that he has God before his eyes.
------ St. Philip

I stand between two eternities. I must fall either into one or the other.
------ St. Ambrose

Heaven open, Hell open,---between the two is the Christian.
------ St. Francis

Recall yourself sometimes to the interior solitude of your heart, and there, removed from all creatures, treat of the affairs of your salvation and your perfection with God, as a friend would speak heart to heart with another.
------ St. Francis of Sales

We should speak to God as a friend speaks to his friend, or a servant to his master, sometimes asking a favor, sometimes accusing ourselves of our faults, sometimes laying before Him all that concerns us, our thoughts, our doubts, our projects, and our dispositions, and asking counsel from Him in all these things.
------ St. Ignatius

It is most important to always seek to preserve the presence of God, for it excites in us a tender love for His Divine Majesty, and gives us great purity of conscience.
------ St. Teresa

Watch over yourself, that your heart may be always inflamed with the fire of charity. As long as oil is kept boiling, flies do not come near it, but when it cools they are drowned in it and it is spoilt. In like manner, as long as a soul glows with the fire of Divine love, the devil keeps at a distance, but when the soul becomes tepid the flies of vanity and idle thoughts enter and defile it.
------ Blessed Baptista Varani

St. Paul of the Cross used to say to those about him: "Stay at home; stay at home." When they asked, "What do you mean? am I never to go out of my house?" He would answer them: "Stay in the solitude of your own heart before God, and keep three lamps burning before the altar---faith, hope, and charity---before the presence of God in your heart.
------ St. Paul of the Cross