Our Father, who art in heaven…

Consider now what your Master says next: “Who art in the Heavens.”

Do you suppose it matters little what Heaven is and where you must seek your most holy Father?

I assure you that for minds which wander it is of great importance not only to have a right belief about this but to try to learn it by experience, for it is one of the best ways of concentrating the mind and effecting recollection in the soul.

You know that God is everywhere; and this is a great truth, for, of course, wherever the king is, or so they say, the court is too: that is to say, wherever God is, there is Heaven.

No doubt you can believe that, in any place where His Majesty is, there is fulness of glory.

Remember how Saint Augustine tells us about his seeking God in many places and eventually finding Him within himself.

Do you suppose it is of little importance that a soul which is often distracted should come to understand this truth and to find that, in order to speak to its Eternal Father and to take its delight in Him, it has no need to go to Heaven or to speak in a loud voice?

However quietly we speak, He is so near that He will hear us: we need no wings to go in search of Him but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us.

Nor need we feel strange in the presence of so kind a Guest; we must talk to Him very humbly, as we should to our father, ask Him for things as we should ask a father, tell Him our troubles, beg Him to put them right, and yet realize that we are not worthy to be called His children.

[…] It would not be humility on your part if the King were to do you a favour and you refused to accept it; but you would be showing humility by taking it, and being pleased with it, yet realizing how far you are from deserving it.

[…] Have nothing to do with that kind of humility, daughters, but speak with Him as with a Father, a Brother, a Lord and a Spouse—and, sometimes in one way and sometimes in another, He will teach you what you must do to please Him.

[…] Remember how important it is for you to have understood this truth— that the Lord is within us and that we should be there with Him.

Teresa of Avila (1515-1582): Way of Perfection, 28.