Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What Gifts Did I Miss Today?

'At some point during the day, I try to set aside a block of time to spend with God.  I spend time in prayer with Scripture....'

As I continue to concentrate on times in my 'inner choir stall,' I realize that the 'block of time' prayer can be a life-changer.  Yet this is the part of prayer that's most difficult for me.  I sometimes put it off until I'm ready to fall into bed, and then find myself omitting it entirely.

Sometimes I wonder what I might have missed on such days.  What inspiration, guidance and insights did God have waiting for me?  Were there special gifts?  Was there a precious jewel I left, ignored and unwrapped, while I ooohed and aaahed over the world's offerings of glitter and plastic?

We have talked before, here, about prayer with Scripture.  We've also used numerous quotes by the writer known as "A Religious."  Today we will combine the two, as we sit at the feet at this anonymous Religious and listen.....

"1.  Take your New Testament..... Forget everything around you and be, for the time, alone with Him whose life is described here by the Spirit of Love.  He Himself addresses you from these pages with words of profound wisdom and divine compassion; words that have illuminated the centuries of human history with heavenly truth, and melted millions of human hearts to tears of compunction and love, nay more, words that have bound souls to Him with the strongest bonds that could be forged on earth, and thus bound, enabled them to suffer torments for His love....

"2.  Read some words or a few lines very slowly, read them again, and then wait for a moment and ask Jesus what He wants here to reveal to you about His love.  Read them once more, and talk them over quietly with yourself and with Jesus... Keep on doing this until the words begin to live. Be like the lover of music who plays a short, beautiful melody, and repeats it, again and again, until his soul is transformed by the harmony.  

"3.  Meditation from the New Testament will make us know Our Lord as scarcely anything else can do, for the original Author is God Himself, and it contains the history of the Word make flesh, Jesus Christ... The innermost reason for the fruitfulness of God's Word is that Christ is ever living; He is ever the God Who saves and quickens... Love, become great and burning by contact with God, takes possession of the powers of the soul, renders it strong and generous to do perfectly all the Father's will, to give itself up wholly to the divine good pleasure.  What better or more fruitful prayer than this?  What treasures await the searchers of the Gospels!  Oh, if only we knew the gift of God!" (from Fervorinos From Galilee's Hills, compiled by a Religious, Pelligrini, Australia, 1936, pp. 26-29)

If only we knew, indeed.  I can imagine a giant pile of gifts just stacked up, waiting, gifts of joy and strength and wisdom that I've shoved into a corner; gifts in packages gathering dust.  

Even now, a new one for today is being wrapped and labeled and offered.  Will I toss it aside, ignore it, say I have a lot to do but thank You anyway?  Or will I open it?

I choose.   

Painting:  John William Waterhouse, Saint Cecilia, 1895, detail