The Divine Presence: God is where you are
“Let me tell you one thing. Listen, my God is here in the oven and He speaks to me and I listen to Him." Dad did not utter a word there after. He experienced God's presence while reading the Bible and mom experienced His presence while cooking.
By Fr. Pratap Naik SJ
I was wondering how the parishes are without the faithful due to restrictions of the Corona Virus lockdown. Where do we go and find God? But then God is everywhere. You find God in yourself. I remember an incident at home with my parents.
My mother Basilia Carvalho (23.05.1930 - 01.11.2004), who would have completed 90 years this day, was busy with cooking near the fireplace (cooking gas was not a regular feature those days in their village). It was 1999 June and after completing the building works of Thomas Stephens Konkani Kendr at Porvorim, Goa, I was at home spending a month of holiday with my parents.
After working for 42 years in Mumbai, my father settled down at Nayakwadi of Kundapur Taluka, Udupi district. Mother had studied only upto Third Form (present day equivalent to Std.VIII ) at Barkur, Udupi District. My parents lived in that tiny village in their 3.25 acres (13,130 sq. mts) of orchard land with a variety of fruit trees and plants. They reared cows, dogs, cats, local fowls. I vividly remember how peacocks, foxes, mongoose, wild cats, rabbits, large garden lizards, reptiles, squirrels, local and migratory birds were their regular visitors.
It was a rainy day and around 10 am I was busy with my Konknni writing. Daddy while relaxing on an easy-chair and reading English Bible (that was his habit to read Bible every day. Those days the entire Bible was not available in Konkani) my dad summoned mom."What do you want?", pat came the reply. "You come and sit here. I shall read the Bible and explain it to you."
"I am busy with cooking here. You read, I shall listen to it from here," she responded. Dad repeated his request only to get the same response.
After a while he annoyingly said to mom, "Whole day you are busy at the oven with firewood and earthen vessels. You are not interested to listen to the Word of God." Mom slightly raised her voice and replied, "What did you say? Whole day, I am busy here and I am not interested to listen to the Word of God?” “Let me tell you one thing. Listen, my God is here in the oven and He speaks to me and I listen to Him." Dad did not utter a word there after. He experienced God's presence while reading the Bible and mom experienced His presence while cooking.
I recollect those words now as the world is not able to visit places of worship. When you come to Church it is the Jesus whom you find in the Eucharist in the tabernacle. But remember the place where you are now is not ordinary. My mother's words that she finds God in the kitchen is exactly what you also find during this time of crisis. It is called divine presence. He is present where you live and work. Hence listen to His voice. Can we feel His divine presence and hear His whispering amidst Covid-19 crisis?
(Image/Photo Courtesy: Unsplash.com)
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