For a recent confession, I was counseled by the priest to consider God’s presence in my everyday life as a penance. I think there is genuine wisdom in that imperative. St Augustine, in the exalted Latin of his Confessions, called God, “nearer to me than I am to myself”. God’s proximity to us, His presence as the sustaining cause of our being and as the perfect wellspring of goodness, is a cause not only for happiness but for hope.

Where is God in your everyday life? Is God a presence to you, or merely a distant monarch?

I often find myself praying to God and to the saints and angels throughout my day. I work a desk job, and God’s desire for my eudaimonia is a consistent source of warmth. I wonder how I can express charity to those around me, to convince them that my life is governed by an infinite charity. Of course, whatever my fulfillments of divine charity might be are but hopelessly pale imitations; for even the smallest act of obedience to love, I am inescapably dependant upon grace.

I sometimes wonder to myself if God’s existence is less the object of doubt than God’s relevance. “Does God exist?” is a different kind of question than, “Is God relevant to my everyday life?” The Christian answer to that question is an unabashed, “yes”. The God revealed in Christ is a persistent shepherd, seeking lost sheep (“all we like sheep…”) before they even have the capacity to search for Him.