“For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:8
Have you ever prayed in emptiness? You ask God for something only to hear the silence of heaven? Or you pray and things get worse? You wonder if what you are praying for is what God wants you to pray for, or whether He even hears you. Is what you’re doing even making a bit of a difference?
In the depth of our spiritual lives there are layers. Yes we ask, ask, ask but we do not prompt God further. We are impatient creatures. We want answers right away. We want healings right away. In our age of instant gratification, we have subjected God to our google search results, that appear instantly via our high speed internet connection. We have forgotten about the journey. We have forgotten relationship.
Prayer is not a moment, not simply a request, it is a relationship with God.
Just as we exist and speak our own language in our own way, so God does too. Prayer is not so much for God as it is for us, not so much a request that God wants to hear as much as it is time spent with Him. He loves to hear our voices, our cries, our hopes and our dreams, and He loves especially to hear our praise, especially our I love you’s…
Being in pain these last couple of days has relegated me to bed rest. I have tried offering up my pain, watching spiritual videos and reading anything that I can get my hands on. Late last night when I ran out of things to watch or read, my own conversion video popped up in my YouTube feed which I found extremely strange. Even stranger was that it was marked at a certain point in the video for me to watch. There was no doubt in my mind that this was a message from God…
As I watched the video and watched myself speak about my conversion story, I listened intently to every word. What I heard myself talking about was falling in love. I have listened to my talk maybe once or twice, but never had I heard this before, and I found myself saying out loud, Lord I love you. I love you so much.
I went to bed in pain but filled with joy. The pain was in the background while my focus was on the love I felt in my heart. My thoughts were focused on my courtship with our Lord- how He called me, how He won me and how He saved me. I thought about my initial entry into the Catholic Church, a bride to a groom, and my soul to His. It was almost as if my marriage to our Lord may have fizzled for some time in the routine, and He had reignited my passion of how we first met; He had reignited my love for Him.
Lent is about fasting, yes, but it is about so much more. It is about making deeper connection with our Lord, it is about singleness of focus on Him. Sometimes the Lord has to get our attention to do that- be it through illness or rest or time away. He wants all of us, not some of us. He is a jealous God, not wanting to share us with the world. This is a very deep and personal relationship, a deep love, a divine love that can only be experienced when we are fully focused on Him.
Are you in pain? Ill? A caretaker? Out of a job?
To the world, these things are bad, a situation to get out of, a pitying of ourselves. To God, they are an opportunity to get our attention, to turn our faces towards Him, to bask in silence and to find our way into His sacred heart.
Take a pregnant pause. Close your eyes. Breathe.
Ask, Lord, why do you have me here?
Asking will lead to silence; silence will lead to seeking; seeking will lead to finding the right door; and finding the right door will lead to God.
May the God of mercy meet you where you are, answer you and love you deeply and passionately for the beautiful soul that you are. God wants only to love His creation.
And you, my beloved, are His masterpiece.