A Faithful Friend is Beyond Price
One of the greatest gifts from God which we have in this life is the gift of friendship. This gift is one of the clearest ways in which God shares His love for us and it is a gift beyond price. If we think of some of the best experiences of our lives, they often involve a friend which whom we shared time, a laugh, a meal, and/or an adventure. Sometimes that which stands out in our remembrance is a situation that was challenging, in which the love of friends helped us to weather the storm.
The Scriptures are full of stories of great friendships, the greatest of which is our friendship with God. All friendships are modeled on the covenant of love which God has with His people. From the beginning of Genesis we see that God created everything solely out of love for us. In many places in the Scriptures it is obvious that we are "the apple of His eye", the center of His every thought. (This is a reference to Deut. 32:10: "He shielded them and cared for them, guarding them as the apple of his eye.") He made everything for us, gift upon gift upon gift. He gave us freedom, which is one of the greatest gifts of love He could have given us because He knew we could abuse it. But love is not love without freedom; without freedom our relationship would be one of slave to a master. Rather, because God is love, He gave us the relationship of friendship with Him. No greater friend could you or I ever find!!
One of my favorite examples of friendship in the Bible is one I mention frequently. In Exodus 33 Moses reminded God that He had called him "my intimate friend" and then God proceeded to give Moses what he asked. God passed by, showing Moses His back and pronouncing His very name. That is indeed a gift of intimacy and deep friendship. The other story that I love which really shows God's understanding of friendship is the story in 1 Kings 19 in which Elijah was nearly beaten down by his enemies and was tired almost unto death by the work he had done for the Lord. God helped Elijah to come into His presence on Mt. Horeb and then approached him with the tenderness of an understanding friend. Elijah needed gentleness and a lot of TLC. Therefore, instead of coming in the bombast with which we are accustomed to seeing up to that point in the Scriptures, God approached Elijah in a small whispering sound. And further, God heeded Elijah's request and gave him a companion on the journey: Elisha, a friend!
And who could forget the incredible friendship of David and Jonathan? Jonathan was the oldest son of David's king, Saul. David had a confusing relationship with Saul due to Saul's madness, yet Jonathan loved David despite the things Saul said about him. In 1 Samuel 18:1 it says: "Jonathan had become as fond of David as if his life depended on him; he loved him as he loved himself." In the most famous scene of all, (1 Sam 20) Jonathan defied his father to protect David from Saul's wrath. Jonathan warned David of Saul's intentions to kill him and thus saved David's life, but in doing so Jonathan knew they would never see each other again. That was an incredible sacrifice for a friend he loved like a brother.
In the Book of Sirach, (6:5-17) we find a beautiful description of friendship, what it is not, and what it is. True friendship is described as this:
"A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter;
he (she) who finds one finds a treasure.
A faithful friend is beyond price,
no sum can balance his (her) worth.
A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy,
such as the one who fears God finds;
For he (she) who fears God behaves accordingly,
and his (her) friend will be like himself."
In the New Testament there are many references to friendship because we have the friendship of Jesus. He calls His disciples "friend" over and over again, culminating in His statement that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend, (John15:13). He not only said this, but He followed through: His death and resurrection were the ultimate act of friendship for each and every one of us. Furthermore, that friendship will continue until the end of time and beyond. We have a never ending friendship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
One of the best ways this friendship with God continues is through the friends He gives us throughout our lifetime. Our friends can often be closer to us than our relatives. And sometimes our relatives are our closest friends. Indeed for those of us who are married, our spouses are our best friends. If we have true friends in addition to that we are doubly blest! Our friends are those people with whom we share our deepest thoughts, our laughter (and lots of it), our fears, our pain, our dreams, and our sorrows on a continual basis. They are the ones who know us fully... and still love us, "warts and all." They are the ones who, even if many miles and a lot of years have separated us from being together, when we are back in each other's presence it seems like hardly a day has gone by. A friend is one we trust so much that even when they say the difficult things we need to hear, we know it is said in love and we take it to heart without offense. Friends desire what is best for us, and we can trust them with anything and everything. Our friends are God's way of saying, "I love you" to us. And they say it in so many ways.
Today let us be grateful for the gift of the friends God has given us. If you have not told your friends just how much they mean to you lately, do so today. And if you have not told God lately how much your friends mean to you, do so today also. In addition, take the time to realize that you are friend to someone (or many) and to that someone, you are a great gift. It is important for each of to realize that small gestures of friendship can mean a lot to others, and that we are God's way of telling them that they are loved. Friendship is a two way street, so we need to be grateful for our friends, and acknowledge that we are part of God's message to them as well.
May we be filled with gratitude for God's friendship, the friendship from which all other friendships flow. May we be filled with gratitude for all the signs of His friendship with us. May we be filled with the courage to be a friend to those who are in need of it, especially the lonely, the elderly, the ill, the poor, and the outcast. And may we be filled with the love and laughter of those with whom we celebrate the gift of life continually, the dearest friends whom He has given. Let us continue to meet in the Heart of our dear Friend and Lord, Jesus. Peace!
Reverence: A Bow to our God of Creation
I have heard people say that there is no way one can travel to Alaska and come away without belief in God. I have also heard people apply this saying to other places they have traveled. I have had that experience in many travels, some of which are not as exotic as going to Alaska. If we really pay attention, we can have that experience in our own backyard, no matter where we are. It is simply a matter of opening our eyes and seeing Him around us. And when we do see Him our response is often one of reverence, or at least it should be.
The dictionary defines reverence as "a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration." Further, it says reverence is "a gesture indicative of deep respect." What we see and experience in our lives should somehow spill over into our response to God including when we are at our weekly worship. For example, I was at a church recently in which everyone not only stayed and sang all 4 verses of the closing hymn, but as soon as the hymn was over, they dropped back to their knees and prayed a thanksgiving prayer together. I was amazed at the reverence of the assembly! What is even more amazing to me is that I was amazed at all! This should be the norm everywhere.
So why is it that some of us make a bolt for the door after communion every week? It seems to be a lack of that gesture of deep respect which we call reverence. While I do think from time to time there are legitimate reasons for leaving early, I think some do not realize that we are at Mass to worship an awesome God. Though it is a good start, it is not enough to put in our hour, sort of like punching the clock to get the requirement in. It means truly meeting our God there. Would we ever dream of entering Heaven, putting in an hour for our dose of the presence of Jesus, and then leaving because we did our duty? Unthinkable! Blessed John Paul II says this of the Eucharist: "The Eucharist is truly a glimpse of heaven appearing on earth. It is a glorious ray of the heavenly Jerusalem which pierces the clouds of our history and lights up our journey." We receive the Eucharist at Mass, but we do not simply come to receive, we come to give also.
Imagine being invited to a dinner party at the house of a beloved friend. Imagine further that there are many people there, some of whom you do not know and some of whom you do know. The host prepares a delicious meal and serves it at the table. But some of the guests have picked up a magazine and are reading it during the conversation and meal; some are sneaking a peak at their smartphones, some are engaged in conversation with each other, but not with the host who is speaking, and others are attentive and engaged with the host. Then as soon as the main course is over and the host begins to clear the dishes for dessert, a third of the guests get up without so much as a good bye or thank you, and head out the door, so that when the host returns, there are empty chairs around the table before the meal has even ended. None of us would dare be that ungracious or rude. Yet we do it at Mass when the Host is none other than the Lord Himself, and the food is His own body and blood given for us.
I believe that the reason for this is a loss of understanding, and thus reverence, for what is really going on when we go to Mass on Sunday. I think our hearts are in the right place or we would not be there at all, but I do think it would be wonderful to realize that it is not over until the last note of the last hymn ends. Why? Because that last hymn is our praise to God; regardless if we croak like a toad or sing like an opera star, God hears with perfect pitch and all attempts at song/praise are delightful to His ears. The point is that we are not there to simply receive, though we do receive a lot. We receive God's presence in the priest, assembly, Word, and Eucharist. That alone is worthy of reverence. We are in the presence of the living God! Maybe we need to allow ourselves to realize this and to let our faith help us to see Him in these ways. Maybe we need to pray for the grace to see beyond what is tangible and to see beyond our humanness. If we begin to realize more actively Whose presence we are in, our gestures such as genuflection before the tabernacle and bowing to the altar will make more sense rather than something we do without knowing why we are even doing it!
We are also there to give. God gives us so much and we are His people. As a people we come together to offer our thanksgiving and praise: we give praise for all the graces and blessings we have received, the beauty of creation, and the very love of our God. We also have so much to pray for, so many needs. Even though not every need is spoken aloud, we do join them and lay them on the altar as we pray together as an assembly. We pray for our world, for peace, for an end to injustice, for our beloved ill or dead, for jobs, economic stability, for the poor, for our nation, our elected officials, our relationships, and so forth. God hears it all, and He does respond, even if not immediately or not in the way we expect. It would be so ungracious and rude, and a show of a lack of gratitude, if we were to leave before we truly thanked Him for listening. There is really nothing more important in the grand scheme of things than being with our God who gives us strength and purpose and oh, so much love. Our lives are about knowing and loving and serving Him. Everything we have is a gift from Him. We come from Him and we are trying to return to Him. Therefore, it is so important we spend time with Him in order to find our way home.
Reverence is a response. A good way to develop reverence inside the church is to understand why we worship as we do; that is, some understanding of the liturgy goes a long way. If we listen to the prayers said both by the priest (or deacon) and by the congregation, we will know what we believe. Another way to find this reverence is to learn to see God in what He has made. Creation reflects the Creator. God is an incredible artist! One does not have to go far to see His handiwork. I used to be afraid I would have an accident while driving when I first moved to Texas, not because of bad drivers, but because the sky and clouds were so beautiful that they were almost distracting. I have been here many years and still feel that way. If we can learn to see the beauty of nature around us as a mirror for the Creator who made it, we can let our hearts be moved with reverence. If we can look at the beauty around us whether we are traveling far or near or simply stepping out on our back porch, we can be moved to that feeling of deep respect and awe which can then move us to veneration, such that we are enabled to make a gesture of deep respect to our God of all creation. This can fuel our attitude of reverence both inside our churches and inside the house of God we call nature.
May we look upon the ordinary and see how extraordinary it really is. May we see and experience the presence of God in all He has created, especially in the beauty of nature. May we be moved with wonder and awe such that we respond with a gesture of reverence. May we be moved to experience God especially as we worship Him daily in our prayer and weekly as an assembly. And may our hearts be opened to the grace of Wonder and Awe at His presence. Let us meet in the Heart of Our God of All Creation. Peace!
The photography is mine.
Top picture: The Anaktuvuk River, north of the Arctic Circle in the Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska.
Bottom picture: The moon, of course.
The Gift of Silence
As a musician I know that in reality the most important part of any piece of music is not the sounds one makes, but the silences between the sounds. If not for the silent spots, whether they be rests or simply spaces due to the length of a note, there would be no melodies to hum, sing, or play. It would be a blur of sound, which we might otherwise call noise. What makes true music is the way we articulate the notes. Even the tiniest of silences are what define the melodies and harmonies, making the sounds we hear say so much to our minds, hearts, and spirits.
Without silence we would never hear the voice of God. Silence is what enables us to open our minds and hearts to hear that which is all around us. If we surround ourselves with nothing but noise we will never really hear anything. It becomes background, foreground, and everything in between such that we inadvertently block out God, who is trying to speak words of love to us. Noise can become a buffer against that which we would rather not face, but probably should because it would lead us to greater freedom. In addition, noise blocks out the wisdom and beauty of God which is everywhere. Noise keeps us from focusing, and eventually we lose the ability to notice.
I have a saying that I keep on my desk which I have had for so long I do not remember where it originated. It says: "Silence is the indispensable climate for all revelation; noise renders it absolutely impossible." There is wisdom in this saying. This fact is why many people go on retreat for a period of time. It is on retreat that we allow ourselves to silence all the noise around us and within us so we can begin to practice the art of listening. If we are going to allow God to reveal Himself to us, we must make room by listening in silence. But even on retreat we can allow interior noise to drown out the voice of God unless we learn how to let go of it and quiet down. In the silence we learn who He is more clearly and we allow Him to reveal to us who we are to Him as well. It is so important to get to know the Lord and not to simply know about Him. How can we serve Him if we do not know the "Him" whom we seek to serve? If we are silent, we can let God reveal Himself to us and hear His song of love sung all around us. It is in creation; it is in all the details which surround us. We simply need to stop, look, and listen. When we do this, how can we not fall more deeply in love with Him who is Love itself?
It does take some practice. For example, have you ever heard falling snow? It is an incredible sound to experience. I remember when I was in college in mid-state New York, some friends and I would climb the hill behind the dorms and go deep into the woods when it would snow. I learned there to hear the sounds of falling snow. I already knew how to identify that it had snowed before getting out of bed in the morning. There is a hush that comes over the world, and one simply knew how to identify that reality. The hush would tell me that it had snowed, and sure enough when I got to the window, it had indeed! But to hear the sound of the snow falling is another issue entirely. I learned to stand absolutely still so that I could become part of the surroundings. Then I would start hearing the sounds around me as if they were suddenly amplified. There was the bird calling to its mate, the rustle of the dead, brown leaves still on some trees, the delicate rush of the brook near where I was standing. There was the sound of my own breathing and the beating of my heart. And finally: a tinkling of those one-of-a-kind flakes hitting the water and the leaves. It is the tiniest of sounds, but if you get still enough you can hear it clearly.
In order to learn to hear God's voice around and within us, we need to create an atmosphere of silence. To begin, we need to carve out some time to do so. Then we need to notice what is around us. Maybe there are trees around you that are telling a story about creation. Maybe it is a cloud formation, a flower, or a gentle breeze on a hot day, all of which are God trying to send a message to you. And if you are not outdoors, there are other ways to notice; you can be quiet and let a picture speak to you. It can be a photograph, an icon, or anything that makes you stop and be still to hear the voice of God. Sometimes I like to look at pictures of the cosmos on an internet site that cause me to be amazed at the wonder of the universe.
When we learn how to listen, we hear what is inside of us. We hear our own inner desires and that for which we hope. But we also hear God speaking through our imagination and inner stirrings. He speaks through the inspirations that seem to arise from nowhere and the thoughts that bubble up from deep within. He speaks through the silence an infinite amount of "I love you" messages to each of us: sometimes it is even through the silence of a glance from a loved one, or the space between get-togethers, in which we miss the presence of the other. In their absence, a form of silence, we realize the depth of our love and we recognize God there. And maybe it is in the space between our "get-togethers" with the Lord (prayer) that we realize our love for him. Do you ever miss being in God's presence between Sunday worship from week to week? Do you miss Him between prayer periods? I would say He misses us between these times, but I do not believe that is true. I think He misses our attentiveness and the intimacy of that, but He cannot truly miss us because He never leaves us. And if we learn to be attentive, He will always be in our awareness and we will not miss Him either!
Therefore let us allow God to teach us how to listen to His voice all around us and within us. Ask Him for the gift of true listening, but be ready to give some time to learning how to accept this gift. Like anything else we have to practice a bit and make it habitual. Once we do that, it becomes natural to listen to Him continually as He speaks words of love to us. Begin with just a few minutes every day and you will see how everything around you transforms with deeper beauty. All of creation is gift to us, and all of creation is speaking God's words of love to us. It is no wonder that in music we call the spaces between notes "rests". When we stop, it brings greater definition to the music of life, and it does bring refreshment to our bodies and souls. This is necessary for all of us, especially if we are extraordinarily busy.
May we learn to appreciate and embrace the gift of silence, and may we learn the art of true listening. May we hear the sound of God's voice more clearly around and within us. And in hearing, may we be profoundly moved by how simple God's message really is: may we hear His "I love you" all around us this day. Let us continue to meet in the silence of the heart of our Lord! Peace!
(All photography is my own. The top picture is from Gulf Shores, Alabama and the second photo is from Assisi, Italy.)
Mary, Mother of the Church
They say a mother's work is never done, and it could not be any truer than in the case of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Every year on August 15 we celebrate the Feast of her Assumption into Heaven body and soul. This remembrance is not just about her death and entrance into Heaven, but it reminds us that Mary's entire life was dedicated to service of Jesus from the moment of her own conception until the end of time as we know it. She spent her life on earth pointing people to her Son, while she stepped out of the way, and she is spending her time in Heaven doing just the same thing.
What we mean by the term "assumption" is that when her life was over, Mary passed from life and was taken straight to Heaven, her soul and body reunited immediately. She was taken bodily into heaven at the moment of her death, not having to wait for the resurrection of the dead as you and I will do. This was the honor that was accorded her because of the immensity of her role in bringing salvation into the world. Mary never sought to be center stage. Rather, she stayed in the background praying and pondering what God was asking of her, quietly raising her Son, with the help of her husband Joseph, until Jesus was ready to begin his ministry.
What is incredible about Mary was not just her courageous and extraordinary humility in saying yes to being the Mother of God. Mary knew when she said that simple yes, that her life would not be an easy one. She knew the dangers of being an unwed mother, and the dangers of Joseph not believing her story; she had unwavering faith in God. She raised Jesus in almost total obscurity. For thirty years He had a hidden life and so did Mary. But we see her emerging from the background briefly when she indicated to Jesus that it was time to begin His ministry at Cana, symbolically saying another yes to her role as His mother. She had to know that once His ministry began He would leave her behind and attend to His mission. She was at peace with stepping aside from being at the center of His life, and letting Him go. In the synoptic gospels we see that she did follow Him, as she showed up once or twice with other family members. But it was never about her. She kept pointing people to her Son.
At the cross (in John's Gospel) she was present, watching the cruel torture He was undergoing. She said yes again, albeit silently, when He gave her John, who symbolically represented the Church. He said, "Woman, behold, your son." This indicated that she was to be the Mother of the Church. It should not surprise us that later, at Pentecost, which is the birth of the Church, Mary was front and center with the apostles. Luke tells us there were 120 people in the Upper Room and the only one specifically named was Mary. Even the Apostles were lumped together as a group. Mary obviously was seen as very important to the community of believers, hence she was mentioned by name.
All this shows us that Mary was of the utmost importance in salvation history. She gave birth to Jesus, thus bringing the Savior into the world. Therefore she is also the mother of the Church, because without Jesus' birth there was no death and resurrection, no salvation, and no Church. After a life of service it should not surprise us that she was given so great a gift as the gift of being taken body and soul into Heaven when her earthly life was over. And it should not surprise us that although she became Queen of Heaven, she has not stopped working in the service of her Son. Mary has continued to serve throughout history. We have evidence of her appearances in so many times and places in order to give a message of hope or a warning for us to pray for the world. She has appeared in such places as the hill of Tepayac, Mexico (Our Lady of Guadalupe); Paris (Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal) and Lourdes, France; Fatima, Portugal; Knock, Ireland; Kibeho, Rwanda; and Akita, Japan, just to name a few. Mary's role is to intercede for the world. Therefore anytime we pray to her we are asking for her intercession, and as always, she does not take any glory for herself. She always points us to her Son, Jesus.
Mary is such an important friend to have because she is more than a friend: she is our Mother, too. She has always been a faithful Mother to all people, especially those who are close to her Son. She is the perfect Mother, loving us and protecting us, and always leading us home to God. Her role as intercessor is important because no one is closer to a son than his mother, and therefore she is the closest person to Jesus there is. He can refuse her nothing. Therefore it is important to go to her from time to time to ask her to take our needs and concerns to her Son, Jesus, who listens to her pleas on our behalf. She has taught us so much, and she never ceases to labor on our behalf. She has been concerned for our welfare here on earth, but her ultimate goal is to serve the God she so loves, and to help us to grow in our love and service as well. She tells us to pray for the conversion of those far from God, to pray for forgiveness of sin, to pray for those who have no one to pray for them, and to pray for the welfare of our world. And she invites us to into her own loving heart, as well.
May we learn from so humble and loving a Mother. May we follow her example, not needing to be the center of attention, but to point others toward the Lord. May we learn to be courageous in our trust for God, just as she has always trusted in Him. And may we enjoy her company as she loves us as the perfect Mother she is. She is the Mother of Love and the Mother of Peace. How blessed we are to have her as our Mother, as well. Let us meet in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Peace.
Below: Knock, Ireland
Transfigured by Love
Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. It is one of those feasts that I just love because there is so much that connects salvation history between the Old and New Testaments in this event. It also is because I had a memorable experience when I was a teenager in which I was prayed over by some dear friends in order to receive a deepening of the Holy Spirit in my life. It was a life changing event for me, and only when I was older did I understand all the connections of the Feast of the Transfiguration with the deep friendship and love of Jesus for His friends.
The event of the Transfiguration took place when Jesus took three of His closest apostles, Peter, James, and John up Mount Tabor in order to reveal to them who He really was. The Gospels tell us that Jesus changed in appearance, becoming so radiant that they could barely look upon Him. Seen along with Jesus were Moses and Elijah. I don't know about you, but I often wondered how the apostles knew who Moses and Elijah were, given that there were no portraits of them, and that they had died centuries earlier. Luke's Gospel gives an indication of what the three were talking about. This no doubt identified them, in addition to the fact that Peter, James, and John were enveloped by the presence of the Holy Spirit. In Luke's version he says that they were speaking of "His exodus that He was going to accomplish in Jerusalem." (Luke 9:31) Then a cloud came down over them and a voice was heard that said: "This is my Chosen Son; listen to Him." (Luke 9:35)
What strikes me most in this account is the intimacy of it. Jesus allowed his three closest friends to see His divinity for the first time in all His glory. It is as if Jesus allowed His humanity to step back for a moment so that His friends could see the divinity that they were struggling to understand. It is a very intimate experience for them to see Jesus this way, as if a preview of the glory that would be His after His resurrection. The second thing that strikes me is connected to the first: the element of friendship that allowed Jesus to be revealed to them as who He really was. There was a deep element of love and trust, because after the event He asked them not to tell anyone yet. This was to be between them for a while.
There are indeed many connections between the Old and New Testaments in this event, but my focus is on the elements of intimacy and friendship. Moses received the Law on Mt Sinai, and each time the encounter was so intimate that only Moses could go. God came to him in a cloud, which is referred to as the Shekinah, the glory of the Lord. During one of Moses' experiences of being in the Shekinah, God offered him something no other person had ever experienced and that was to enter into His presence so deeply that Moses would actually see God passing by. And in the offer God said he would do this because Moses was his intimate friend! (Ex. 33:17) God said: "I will make all my beauty pass before you, and in your presence I will pronounce my name, 'Lord'... but my face you cannot see." So God passed by, hiding Moses with his hand until He passed by, so as to protect Moses from being too overwhelmed by His glory. Therefore Moses saw God's back as He passed by. (Exodus 33:18-23) The Scriptures tell us that afterward Moses' face became radiant with the presence of God.
Elijah also had an intimate experience of God. In his experience, God had him go to Mt. Carmel to safety in God's presence as he fled from the evil queen Jezebel who sought to take his life. Elijah entered the cave where God was to speak with him, and the writer tells us that he recognized God's presence not in a trumpet blast or cataclysmic act, but in a small whispering sound. Elijah was exhausted from his fight against evil and he was, frankly, a bit lonely. God came in intimacy and gentleness, knowing what His friend needed. And not only did He comfort Elijah with His presence, He gave him what he needed: a companion and fellow prophet, Elisha, to accompany him as he finished his earthy mission. (1Kings19:1-18)
In the Transfiguration, it makes sense that Moses and Elijah were present and revealed to Jesus' friends. They were telling Jesus the time had come to go to Jerusalem and to fulfill His mission by dying and rising. I am sure it was helpful to Jesus to be accompanied by His friends so that they would know, though not really understand at that time, what He was about to go through. Just as God knew that Moses and Elijah were his intimate friends, and wanted to share that with them, Jesus, the Son of God wanted His three friends to know that they had that level of intimacy as well. He was there for them, and He needed their friendship, too. He revealed things to them that He knew they were not going to understand until much later, but He revealed them all the same. I think in His humanity He needed the support of His friends, just as all of us need support from our friends throughout our lives. But I also believe that in His divinity He also wanted to express and receive love, as God has always desired love and intimacy with all His friends.
Therefore we, too, are invited into a special intimacy with God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, just as the three apostles were invited into the presence of the Trinity in this event. (The voice of the Father was heard, the Son was revealed, and the cloud was the presence of the Holy Spirit.) The Gospel writers recorded and shared this story with us so that we would know that being intimate with God was not just an Old Testament experience for a select few, or even a New Testament experience of a select few. Rather, intimacy with God is for all of us. The cloud of God's presence is there for all of us, even if we do not see it in the way that they did. We, too, are invited into the presence of the revealed Jesus every time we go to Eucharist, every time we read the Gospels, and every time we are gathered together in prayer and worship. And whenever we pray and ask God to be present to us, we are also in the presence of God in a unique way, maybe beyond our senses to see the intensity of His glory, but no less intimate an encounter. Our God loves us deeply and He wants our friendship just as He desired the friendship and intimacy of Moses, Elijah, Peter, James and John.
Therefore let us spend time in an encounter through prayer with the Lord of Love in all the intimacy He intends for us. May we be transfigured with Him as we enter His presence, coming away transformed with a new radiance in our heart. May we know of His friendship and in joy share it with others who may not be aware of the love He offers. May we be blessed by a deepened relationship with our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Let us continue to meet in the Heart of the Lord, who desires our friendship. Peace!
Heart Speaks to Heart