I pray quite a bit. It is just me talking to God and He talks to me mainly through what I hear from the Bible. This comes from reading the daily liturgy readings and even more now from listening to really expert Bible teachers like Father Robert Barron. The Robber Barron as I call him. I do not know if he would be turned on to know my nickname for him. He is a robber in my opinion because he steals the devil's thunder. He gets me off materialism and off just thinking about myself.
Today however I experienced a brand new type of prayer. Before we daily go out on the streets witnessing our faith we usually spend time in front of the tabernacle. For those of you who do not know what that is, it is a small cupboard usually rather ornate close to the altar. Hanging close by is a red light which helps one find the place easily. As you probably know Catholic Churches are full of ornaments and but for the red light the Tabernacle could be rather hard to find. In side this locked cupboard are the consecrated hosts or the little round wafers that the priest, any Catholic priest has prayed over in a special way and thus turning them into very specifically the Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is with us everywhere but only spiritually. In front of the tabernacle or when the host is being displayed in a monstrance, we believe with good reason that Jesus is there physically. In another little segment I will try to explain Biblically why that is so but that is not the main purpose why I am writing at 2 a.m. This advent morning of the 17th December 2008.
If you are anything like me you probably have a conception of God which thinks of Him as rather disapproving and rightly so because I am so full of failings, shortcomings and just plain sin that He must be quite disappointed with me most of the time. Today I found out that this is not so and let me tell you what happened.
Instead of telling Him how bad I was and am and then presenting Him with the usual requests for my children and other matters that weigh heavily on my mind, I just closed my eyes and said nothing. What I saw in my mind's eye was just amazing. Jesus was standing in front of me dressed in gorgeous robes but I was concentrating on His face. He was looking at me with so much love with his deep penetrating smiling eyes that I began to weep. There was no condemnation in the way he kept looking at me. There was no disapproval only unconditional love. It was so awesome that I could have stayed there for hours. Me looking at Him and He looking and smiling, yes smiling at me.
What made it even more wonderful was the fact that I was very conscious that I definitely did not deserve this. As I think now the Cross was off to the right somewhere and too was hanging around my neck. I often kiss the cross because it is through the cross that I have this kind of access to experience this kind of thing. This morning was a turning point in my life. It was a deepening realization as to how much God Loves me and of course you too.
This is why I am writing this because I want to share this with you so you too can experience such moments often. It is such a boost. I have heard and read about contemplative prayer but never really understood it until today. I hope what I have shared will be a blessing. You see God did not have to create you and me but He did. As a well known Father on EWTN called Father Clifford often points out, "Jesus is madly in love with you and me." His great unconditional Love covers our multitude of sins and failings and short comings. He looks at us in amazement that we are taking the time to spend with Him, even if it is just a few moments.
God bless you and may you have many moments contemplating the smiling eyes of your Creator, and experiencing His gaze of approving LOVE. Happy Christmas and God bless you!