Saint Paul teaches that anguish, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or the sword are not sufficient to separate us from God (cf. Rom 8:35). However, could we say the same of vices, drugs or any other thing without making any distinctions? Do these not eradicate the presence of God from our interior?
A similar question could be made if this had been affirmed to us as if it were a dogmatic certainty…then the questions start to multiply. It is left unclear if God inhabits in the same way the soul of a good Christian who practices the commandments, in spite of difficulties and sufferings, and even perhaps falls, as that of a sinner, who doesn’t seek God and even despises Him, living in a scandalous way.
The truth is that this topic is very intricate, and should never be taken lightly. A dogmatic certainty clearly does not allow for ambiguities and lapses when explained to others. Thank God, Catholic doctrine sheds ample light on what the presence of God in our lives really is…
I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else — God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God. (Interview with Antonio Spadaro, August 19, 2013)
Dear brothers and sisters, we are never alone. We can be far away, hostile; we can even profess that we are “without God”. The Gospel of Jesus Christ however, reveals to us that God cannot be without us: He will never be a God “without man”. It is he who cannot be without us, and this is the great mystery! God cannot be God without man: this is a great mystery! And this certainty is the source of our hope, which we find safeguarded in our every invocation of the Our Father. (General audience, June 7, 2017)
Teachings of the Magisterium
Table of Contents
Saint Thomas Aquinas
– God is present in all, but not in the same way: the presence in all creatures and that of grace
Saint Augustine of Hippo
– God is everywhere by the presence of the divinity, but not by His grace inhabiting souls
– God does not inhabit all – by sin, the sinner himself departs from God
Council of Trent
– Who are the ‘friends of God’?
– God has friends and enemies
– He who loves God keeps His word and His Commandments
– Sinners are ‘children of wrath’ and ‘enemies of God’
– Friends of God by supernatural grace
Catechism of the Catholic Church
– No one can be united with God without freely choosing to love Him
– There are people who have totally destroyed their possibility of being with God