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Resting in God

  • is awakening to the divine Presence
  • is attributed to St. Gregory the Great, a Pope of the 5th century
  • grows as trust in God increases
  • causes one’s psychological defense mechanisms to relax
  • spurs the release of the undigested emotional material repressed into our unconscious in early life
  • helps to reduce thought chatter so that consent to God’s presence can be maintained
  • supports the full flowering of the potential of our spiritual faculties to relate with Christ in spiritual marriage 

“Resting in God” may also be referred to as “interior silence”, “a sense of well-being” and “the deepest rest”.

  • IG: 39, 76-78, 96, 132
  • BP: 46
  • OMOH: 20 

The experience of resting in God causes the body to rest as well, and to rest in a greater degree than in sleep. The experience of resting in God, especially when it involves the sense of the divine Presence, leads to a kind of psychological transference with God that is to a disposition of increasing trust and sense of safety.

Related Concepts




Resting in God is the result of freedom from attachments or aversions to thoughts and the conviction of being accepted and loved by God. In deep rest, our awareness of the divine presence awakens. Deep rest of the body, mind, and spirit relaxes defense mechanisms. The undigested emotional material of early life emerges from the unconscious in the form of bombardments of thoughts and primitive emotions. We might call this “the unloading of the unconscious.”

The experience of resting in God, especially when it perceives the Divine presence, leads to a kind of psychological transference with God. Doubts about self-worth begin to diminish.

St. Gregory the Great called “resting in God” a precious gift and a fruit of reflecting on the Word of God in scripture. In this “resting”, the mind and heart begin to “taste” what they have been seeking. This state is not the suspension of activity, but the reduction of many reflections to a single thought that sustains our consent to God’s presence in the depths of our being.

Resting in God is not an abstract state but rather the potential of all our faculties to relate to Christ, each of them in its own way. As with Lectio Divina, there is an inherent movement from reflection to simply resting in God without thinking. A similar movement may occur in the recitation of the rosary. While reflecting on the mysteries, we may feel an inward attraction to be still in the presence of Our Lady and just absorb the mysterious sweetness of her presence.


 Reflection: Listening

As trust in God grows, deep rest also grows

Reflection: Reflecting

During Centering Prayer, are you free of unwanted thoughts? What does it feel like to rest in God?

Reflection: Responding

Allow your body to rest. Learn to recognize the presence of interior silence.