What does it mean to say that the Kingdom of God is at hand? In the chapter of The Lord entitled "Beginnings," Guardini offers some reflections:
Things in general, by their very existence, fill the spiritual space' both within and around me, not God. God is present to me only when the crowding, all-absorbing things of my world leave room for him-either in or through them, or somewhere on the periphery of their existence. No, God certainly does not dominate my life. Any tree in my path seems to have more power than he, if only because it forces me to walk around it! What would life be like if God did rule in me?Then I would know, not by strenuous, conscious effort, but spontaneously, from the vitality of constant encounter: He is! His would be the one name, the one reality before all others. I would know him as I know the beauty and the freshness of a meadow in full bloom, and I would be able to speak of him as I speak of its richness, deeply conscious of what I meant. His essence would be as real and clear to me as that of a person I knew intimately and understood--to my good or harm: someone with a certain face, a familiar gait, whose mind and spiritual powers responded in a specific manner to my own.