Practical Discourses upon the Perfection and Wonderful Works of God by Joseph Reeve, SJ.
Joseph Reeve, SJ
To enjoy the presence of God in the manner that is suited to our mortal state, it is not necessary to ascend in spirit into Heaven, as if he resided nowhere else. To converse with him, to warm our affections for him, to communicate our sentiments to him, and to unite our hearts intimately with him, we have but to rouse our faith, and we shall find him always by us, always with us, and always in us. For he is not at any distance from each one of us, says St. Paul, in him we live, in him we move, and in him we have our very being. A fish swimming in the sea is not so thoroughly encompassed by the watery deep, as we are by the divine immensity: for the sea has its bounds, immensity has none. Whichever way we move, and to whatever point we direct our steps, it is still within the ocean of that boundless immensity of God, which surrounds and invests us on every side.
– from Practical Discourses upon the Perfection and Wonderful Works of God by Joseph Reeve, SJ.
Joseph Reeve, SJ (1733-1820) was an English poet, a Jesuit priest and professor, and Catholic essayist. Writing extensively on the history of the Catholic faith in England, especially around the time of the English Revolt and the resulting loss of monastic life in England, Reeve also undertook some curious projects —such as translating the works of contemporary writers Joseph Addison, John Dryden, and Alexander Pope into Latin. Perhaps his most lasting contribution to English letters was his Practical Discourses, which sought to offer to the English laity an introduction to the devout life much like St. Francis de Sales had sought to do for non-clergy in France.