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Recognizing God

Finding God in All Things - text overlaid on heart

Fewer words make space for quiet listening. Some people pray through meditation, some say memorized prayers, some absorb the wonder of creation and see that “It is good.” Some look at that same creation and are frightened by the power of wind, rain, and fire, wondering about the source of such a destructive force. Finding God in all things is the core of Ignatian spirituality but it can be a challenge and a mystery. Some things look very mundane and ordinary; hardly holy looking. Others look fearsome and confusing. It’s both daunting and awesome. That’s why we need to let go of cheap faith and deepen our faith for the long haul.

I try to recognize God in the traditional ways of worship and then go straight to the source. We talk it over. I figure God came to us in the person of Jesus and continues to touch our lives through the Holy Spirit. I can’t prove it, but I choose to believe it. The home I’ve found for this faith is through the Catholic Church, warts and all. It’s not perfect because the institutional church is all of us who participate, and we are not perfect. Yet, I believe we are guided through the Holy Spirit, who comes to us through prayer and the community of believers.

—Excerpted from Blessed by Less by Susan V. Vogt


  1. Thank you for the contemplative thoughts. Sometimes prayer alone is not enough. I read somewhere ‘a quick contemplation through a window’ – Look up and see the beauty of the trees, tall buildings, the mountains, sky, the birds, the sun, moon or stars, etc. and all that is there that we see and cannot see. Look down and see the beauty of the grass, the flowers, the people and animals walking/driving by, the dirt, the littlest bugs, etc. and all that is there that we see and cannot see. Know that God is in all this and he created all this because He loves us.

  2. Thank you for the insights into contemplation. I too find a walk in the woods or observing nature or people to be an interesting and thought evoking exercise. I don’t often enough recognize God’s message to me or others in the contemplation, but it is a source of mental and spiritual peace and a place where I can think about past and future events. I was a bit disappointed in the author’s question about the active nature of the Holy Spirit. I personally believe that in reality Jesus is in fact among us in the presence of people mostly, but also events that shape our “strategy” for reaching our final goal. In fact, in part we are already there! Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit, which He did and we have to be open to this spiritual reality. It isn’t only a faith exercise, as I see it. The real faith exercise for me is realizing the reality that Jesus, the Son of God, came or was sent to redeem us through not only His death for our iniquity but also through His Resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The apostles and other disciples experienced the effects of the Holy Spirit, so what has happened to our recognition of this reality? Jesus will come again, but He is also among us and actively guiding us by the power of the Holy Spirit. For me, God is truly a loving father, who not only guides us through our experiences, but also by the power of His Holy Spirit, IF we let Him. God bless you in your writings and contemplation. Please pray for me too. Thank you.


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