Let me tell you what it’s like to *try* to turn and speak to Jesus all day.
I haven’t mastered this practice yet, it’s only been about 2, 3 days, but I’m excited to show you what I’ve already gained these past few days since spending time with Father Earley at our Carmelite retreat.
Yes.. I’ve still to go through my notes from the beginning and do the slow reveal about how we got to *here*, but it’s important for me to capture what’s going on now before I go back and sift.
Just a snapshot of my soul, let me share that with you.
First of all, it’s nothing like I imagined it would be. I’ve always imagined the saints being in some sort of ecstatic state if they were to be in God’s presence throughout the day, as though to be with God, you’re half-asleep to the world. These past few days, that hasn’t been my experience at all.
It’s a lot like the my turning to your father for wisdom, advice or direction before making a decision or beginning something. First comes the mental acknowledgement that there is someone there, then there’s the follow-through movement of engaging with the person. That’s how it is when I’m around your Dad — or even when we’re around each other. We can be immersed in doing something and walk by each other without even noticing a person’s walked by, so that awareness is always the first movement. Then comes the engagement. The “Hey.. I wanted to ask you something..” Or the “There you are… Guess what happened today.” It’s that simple with Jesus.
First, you mentally pull yourself away from what you’re doing for a second from what you’re doing, you place yourself in God’s presence – which is moving your mind into a state to pray. Carmelites call that recollection, collecting the faculties of the soul. It’s basically lifting your mind from everything around you and forgetting all else for a moment while you acknowledge God.
You know He’s everywhere, so this can be done anywhere, in an instant.
“Lord…” Boom.. You are with Him, in His presence.
Second, you simply speak, ask, tell, reveal, as honestly and as simply as possibly, with absolute trust, holding nothing back. You have to believe that Jesus is present and that you are being heard.
It’s like a momentary prayer. You can lift your eyes up and pray to God in a moment’s notice when you’re in need, can’t you? It’s the same thing. Lift your mind to Jesus, who is beside you, closer than you can imagine (He actually dwells in your heart.. but having Him beside you is a nice point of reference to get started with this.)
Practice this often, several times a day.
When? Well, try moments of temptation, for starters. You know yourself, your flaws, your faults. When you know you’re approaching something that will tempt you, turn to Jesus and ask Him what He thinks. Should be doing this?
Pay attention to the movement of your heart as you do this a few times, and you’ll be turning to our Lord more frequently.
That’s how it’s happening with me. I’ll tell you more about this tomorrow..
AMDG. Feast of St. Bridget