"Just now the cat is lying by the fire in a state of complete abandonment. He knows nothing and cares nothing for war, he has unlimited confidence in me, he is sure that I shall always feed him and warm him and house him . . . .
"We have a lot to learn from the cat. At present we are bristling, squinting, stiffening even more than usual, but we are always tense, even in times of peace . . . .
"My cat (I can't neglect him for long, as today he is my spiritual director!) is a tabby. Just now he was in the garden when a black cat came loping along the garden wall, a very unpleasant fellow, I must admit, definitely marked by the underworld; my tabby became very anxious. He rushed to the window, his pink mouth wide open, his face raddled with fear. I let him in and no sooner had he jumped on my lap than he relaxed, he went limp, and indicated by various signs known to me that he wanted his ears scratched that done, he went to sleep.
"This is a lesson in prayer. There are many ways of prayer; to "lift up the heart and mind to God" covers a huge range. There is prayer like that of Moses, when he lifted up his arms and held them up, straining and agonizing, before God; there is the prayer which Christ describes in one of His parables, which could be called 'the prayer of importunity,' a continual hammering and beating on the door of Heaven until we get what we want; and many others. But now, with such great anxiety pressing upon us, the prayer in which we can relax is surely among the most creative.
"We certainly should pray all the time, praying with our hands, our bodies, our will, our acts; but in order to delight God and to build up the peace of our souls, besides the prayer in which we offer ourselves to God should be the prayer in which we let God give Himself to us. We should learn to receive the love of God in silence and joy that is what is meant by relaxing.
"There should be, even in the busiest day, a few moments when we can close our eyes and let God possess us. He is always present, always giving us life, always round us and in us, like the air we breathe; there should be moments at least when we become more conscious of His presence; when we become conscious of it as the only reality, the only thing that will last forever . . . .
"I ought to be able to treat God as my cat treats me . . . .
". . . . we must learn to trust God, because this is what Christ taught. He told us to live in the present; His whole teaching stresses that idea . . . . He tells us not to save up, or make any provision for the future, to live in the moment. But we seldom do so, we seldom consciously rejoice because today is a soft blue day of mist and sunlight and we are still with those dear to us, clothed, fed and under our own roof. No, we grieve because of what tomorrow may bring . . . .
"But trust does not mean believing that God will spare us from suffering . . . . To trust God means that we must know that whatever comes to us comes from His hand . . . . Christ says: 'Take no thought of tomorrow.' He also says: 'Take up your cross daily.' There is no need, in accepting sorrow, to look ahead, to imagine tomorrow, to ask for more or less, but just as we receive our joy day by day, so can we receive our sorrow day by day, and it will be measured day by day, by the love of God and our own littleness . . . .
"To look for God's gift in the moment is the way to learn to trust."