How many of us inwardly feel a secret longing to find God; and this usually accompanied by the perception that we are confronted by an impenetrable barrier—we cannot find Him—we can neither go through this barrier nor climb over it! We have faith. We are able to admit that He exists, for we cannot help but perceive a Will dominating the laws of the Universe; but something deep within us that we cannot put a name to, something subtle, secret, and strange, cries aloud, "But I need more than this, it is not enough; I need to personally find and know Him. Why does He not permit me to do so?"
We might easily answer ourselves by remembering that if, in everyday life, we greatly desire to see a friend, our best way of doing so is by going in the direction in which he is to be found: we should consider this as obvious. Then let us apply this, which we say is so obvious, to God. We waste too much time looking for Him in impossible directions and by impossible means. He is not to be found by merely studying lengthy arguments, brilliant explanations of theological statements, or controversies upon the meanings of obscure dogmas. He is not even to be found through organising charity concerts and social reforms however useful. We shall find Him through a self stripped bare of all other interests and pretensions—stripped bare of everything but a humble and passionately seeking heart.
He says to the soul, "Long for Me, and I will show Myself. Desire Me with a great desire, and I will be found."* * *
Scattered all through history are innumerable persons, both great and insignificant, who looked for the Pearl of Great Price: and not too many would seem to have found it. Some sought by study, by intelligence; some by strict and pious attention to outward ceremonial service; some by a "religious" life; some even by penance and fasting. Those who found sought with the heart. Those who sought with careful piety, or with intelligence, found perhaps faith and submission, but no joy. The Pearl is that which cannot be described in words. It is the touch of God Himself upon the soul, the Joy of Love.* * *
The entrance to the land of happiness and peace is through union of the will to Christ, by love. How can this sense of love be reached? By centring the wheel of the mind, with its daily spinning thoughts, upon the Man Jesus, and learning to inwardly see and hold on to the perfect simplicity and love of Jesus Christ. We can form the habit of taking Jesus as our heart and mind companion. We are all aware of the unceasing necessity of the mind to fill itself: we cannot have no thoughts until we have advanced in the spiritual life to a long distance. We may well see, in this, one of the provisions made by God for His own habitation in the mind of man—a habitation too often hideously usurped by every kind of unworthy substitute. Petty social interests and occupations, personal animosities, ambitions, worries, a revolving endless chaos of futilities, known and praised by too many of us as "a busy life"!—the mind being given opportunity only at long intervals, and usually at stated and set times, to dwell upon the thought of God, and the marvellous future of the human spirit. We are like travellers who, about to start out upon a great journey, pack their portmanteaus with everything that will be perfectly useless to them!
Now, it is possible to put out and obliterate this chaotic and useless state of mind, which would appear to be the "natural mind," and to open ourselves to receive the might and force and the joys and delights of Christ's Mind. These joys are the Heart of Christ speaking to the heart of His lover....