Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let Me Be an Instrument

                “Lord, today, what do You ask of me? As the Universal Prayer says, ‘I want to do all that You ask of me, in the way that You ask, for as long as You ask, because You ask.’ Let me be an instrument. Use me as You need to for Your glory, not mine; for Your plans, not mine. 

                “Sometimes it is so hard to hear You amidst all the noise in the world. There is the noise of other people, the noise of what we have created (machinery, cars, airplanes, cities, etc.), the noise of our culture, the noise from Satan which effectively warps our perception of Your Word and muffles the beautiful quiet whispers from Your heart to ours. Help me filter the noise. Help me focus all my senses on that quiet, gentle voice that speaks the language of love and gives great peace.
                “If we can simply hear the commandment to love You God with all our hearts, then everything else falls into place. When we love You, truly love You, then all we do is simply an extension of this great love. We will be doing exactly what You want us to do. It seems so simple. Why is it that we complicate, twist, corrupt, cheapen, contaminate and basically ruin the most simple, pure gift from You – love? How do You get through to us? I want to stand in the middle of a stadium with thousands of people and with all the television and internet cameras pointed at me. I want to throw my arms up in the air and shout to every person in the world, ‘Love God as He loves us, then there can be heaven on earth!!’
                “Love is what we all seek. No one goes through the day truly wishing for pain, misery, loneliness and desperation for themselves yet so many people experience just that. Everyone seeks the healing balm of God’s love, whether they realize it or not. They might seek power, money, honor or glory, but it is all so that ultimately, love can be produced from these efforts. It may be twisted into self-love, approval, acceptance, self-worth or value; but it all points to a deeper desire to be loved.
                “God, You created us to love and adore You because You love and adore us. It is deep in our very nature, deep in our souls. We also need to be loved. So peel off the heavy layers that shroud our souls. Throw back the curtains, open the windows, clean the glass and let the love that You first placed in our hearts burn bright and shine through our entire being. I pray that the light that shines through us will burn bright enough to reach right up to heaven and reflect in Your eyes. May Your eyes well up with tears of joy at the sight of our immense love shining below!”

I Long to be with You

                “Lord, what do You ask of me today? I want to do all that You ask, even if what You ask is to do nothing at all. I am so grateful that You ask. I know You have asked of me things in the past, but I didn’t hear You or I ignored You. I know You have forgiven me but thank You so much for that forgiveness and mercy. I am so blessed and so grateful.
                “I want to be one with You, in Your Trinity; one with God the Father, one with Jesus Christ the Son, and one with the Holy Spirit. Let me lose myself in You. May our thoughts and words be one. May our actions be one. May our compassion be one. May our mercy be one. May our gaze be united so that we see through the same eyes. Lord help me recognize the beauty of all You created, both in the grandiose mountains and waterfalls, and in the humble and meek insect or blade of grass which serve as food for greater creatures. May I always praise Your artistry in the colors of the flowers, the patterns on animal’s coats, the symphony of colors and shapes in the trees and bushes around us, the multitude of clouds that float in the sky, the shades of blue in the oceans and lakes as well as the greys of rocks, the browns of dirt, the whites and greys of ashes, the tans of sand, the non color of fog – all Your creations. Everything You have created is a work of art.
                “I long to be with You. Help me to remember that You are with me completely. We are united as one through the Holy Spirit. You are in me, You are around me, You are everywhere. Help me see that with Your eyes, help me feel it with Your senses. Help me feel it in our united heart. I love You Lord.”

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

                “Lord, as I sit here in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I am humbled and awed. The candlelight gently surrounds the monstrance, reflecting off the shiny surfaces, creating a beautiful array of light around Your presence. I can smell the incense, a gentle envelope to hold precious prayers and thanksgiving that go up Your Father. As we kneel and love and worship You, You kneel and worship the Father who looks back at You with great love, and You look back at us with the same great love. The Holy Spirit creates the conduit for all this love and communication to go back and forth.
                “How I long to see You in front of me – to talk to You, to hold Your precious hands. I long to hear Your voice, see Your smile, look into Your eyes. But then I remember that You are right in front of me, just in a different form. You are also in me, right now, deep in my heart and soul through the Holy Spirit, so my longings for Your physical presence seem superfluous. But when we love someone, we want to hug and hold them as close and as tight as possible and never let go. With the gift of the Holy Spirit, you have quenched this insatiable appetite for love and You will never leave us. Even if we temporarily turn away, you are still there, like a sentinel in our hearts and souls, waiting for us to return – a faithful guard protecting our hearts which belong to You, from the assaults of the world which try to steal our hearts away. Some of these attacks leave wounds that only You can heal. Let us always return to You and Your healing mercy. Let us be as faithful to You as You are to us.
“Lord, help me to recognize Your presence within me through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Let love be the power that unites us and gives us hope. Let faith be the glue that binds us all together.”

Steal a Moment in Heaven

                “As I sit on the pew in front of the altar, I am so filled with joy and peace. I hear the sounds of prayer; words of love fervently sent up to You - words in Spanish, whispers in English, and the sound of silent prayer. Yes, even silent prayer has a sound - a faint presence of something on the air. It doesn’t matter what language or form the prayers take, they are united in Your love, inflamed by the Holy Spirit. It is the language of holy love.
                “Our priest said that during mass, we are in a part of heaven. I always wonder what heaven is like. Today, I felt the presence of angels, saints, holy beings gathered with us around You at the altar. I could sense the joy and love from all, praising God the Father and Jesus the Son, together with the Holy Spirit which seemed like a light illuminating the altar. I was so filled with pure joy, my heart felt like it was bursting out of my body. I could barely contain the joy.
“Oh Lord, You give me such joy. There is nothing else like it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. How could I have missed this all these years? I can hardly wait for mass tomorrow – it’s another chance to steal a moment in heaven.”

So Much Love Brought to the Altar

               I have a burning desire to “see” as God sees. I want to see whatever He wants to send to me. When I look up at the altar, I see a veil between our world and heaven. I want to pull the veil aside and peek through. What is on the other side? My heart races just thinking about it. Jesus is in the Tabernacle. I must go through Him to see what is on the other side. The glowing candlelight in the red holder gives me a sense of hope, love and warmth. A smile gently creeps upon my lips as I breathe in His presence. It’s hard to take my eyes away. I feel like a child staring at someone great. I feel anticipation and peace at the same time – a contradiction but not confusing.
                I think of all the people who have approached this altar. Did their hearts race like mine? Jesus, there is so much love which is brought to the altar and so much love that flows out from the altar, yet we can’t see it with our eyes. We can feel it with our senses but even then, not everyone can feel it. But it is there, filling them anyway. I will leave glowing with the great love that fills this Church!