Is God present everywhere?

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Question: My old catechism says God is everywhere. If this is case, why is visiting a church “better” than going to the woods or mountains where some claim they sense God’s presence more? 

— John Harris, via email.


Answer: God is present everywhere, but this does not mean he is present in the same way everywhere. There is, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, a full and perfect presence that far excels God’s presence in a forest or mountain. There, his presence is more of a reflected or immanent presence, whereas in the Blessed Sacrament he is present really, truly and substantially. The fact that we genuflect upon entering a Church where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved is an acknowledgment of this full and personal presence of the Lord. There is no place on Earth where we can be closer to the Lord than in sacred liturgy and in the churches and chapels where the holy Eucharist is reserved. An old prayer says, “May the heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored and loved with grateful affection here and in every tabernacle of the world, now and unto the end of time.”


Prayer to live in God’s presence

God, my Father, You have promised to remain forever with those who do what is just and right. Help me to live in Your presence. The loving plan of Your Wisdom was made known when Jesus, your Son, became man like us. I want to obey His commandment of love and bring Your peace and joy to others. Keep before me the wisdom and love You have made known in Your Son. Help me to be like Him in word and deed.

Msgr. Charles Pope

Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian in Washington, D.C., and writes for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. at Send questions to