Friday, October 16, 2009

Keep yourself simply and peacefully attentive to the prayer of Jesus within you

"Fear not, O my soul, these apparently extravagant expressions, this idea of submersion in God, of being invaded by God, which amounts to the same thing; for God never invades you except for the sake of submerging you, so to speak, in the ocean of light and of love which He is.

The Eucharist of Jesus leads you directly to this grace. Do not stand in dread of any foolish pretence or irreverent presumption. The Eucharist itself supplies you with wings strong enough to lift you so high, yes, even unto the Lord Most High, Jesus.

Remember, then, that just as it is now not you, but He who lives in you, so it is not so much you who pray; it is He who prays in you.

I implore you to let go all your reasoning; do not wear your mind with that philosophy. Rather, stop torturing yourself; keep yourself simply and peacefully attentive to the prayer of Jesus within you. Can one imagine any activity comparable to that of a soul who rises to her God through the very activity whereby Jesus lifts His gaze to His Father in the love of the Father and of the Son?

It is then that you find yourself, as it were, immersed in God, invaded by God. And it is the Eucharist living in you which obtains for you this ineffable privilege!

What Jesus did on the mountain when He passed the night in the prayer of God, He renews in you whom He constitutes, at this hour, a kind of mountain of God, a lofty mountain, a high-ridged mountain, a mountain in which it has pleased God to dwell.

What was it He was doing? Was He praying for someone greater than Himself? Yes indeed, insofar as He was man. Did He humble Himself, soliciting some grace? The Gospel tells us nothing; rather does it seem to suggest something sublime by those words: in the prayer of God.

What is that prayer? It is the eternal contemplation of God, of His beauty, of His infinite love. Can one imagine a more sublime prayer than that which God makes eternally within Himself, when He contemplates and loves His sovereign majesty? That is where the soul of my Saviour spent its nights and its days; that was His prayer. He would teach you to give yourself up to it with all your own soul.

Of course, Jesus here below lived at the same time in His soul as if in heaven; He was always in possession of the clear face-to-face vision, the vision of the Word and, through that Word, of the entire Trinity; Jesus alone could enjoy, even on earth, the fullness of the prayer of God.

He alone was thus in the full noonday of divine glory, in the bosom of that Father who became His sacred oratory. God He was, Himself, in His own prayer; it was Himself He contemplated, the Word of the Father, and loved eternally. As man, His soul entered into the prayer of the God who He was. He penetrated into God, immersed Himself therein. He contemplated the greatness of God, His infinite bounty; He loved them in God's contemplation of His own grandeurs and in the infinite love God necessarily bears toward them. What is that but entering into the prayer of God? Carried away by the impulse of love from the Holy Spirit, His blessed soul went forth to the Father, to the Son who He was, to the Holy Spirit, while at the same time it submerged itself in the abyss of the divine perfections.

Who has ever heard of such a prayer? Can it become ours? And, if so, what can it not obtain for us?

The Eucharist, living in the depths of our soul, introduces us to that prayer. At that moment, forming but one thing with Jesus Christ, entering into a mysterious participation in all that He is, all that He has, we are carried away by Him into the movements of His soul. Immersed in it, invaded by it, we participate in His prayer of God. Do we realized that?

Where does He lead us? Into the treasures of His wisdom and knowledge, into the riches of divine light and intensity. That is, of course, His privilege; but in proportion to our silent attention, our recollection and self-donation of the soul, at that most precious hour, this prayer inundates us with the graces of the Saviour.

What heavenly moments, yes, blessed moments, when ravished out of ourselves, we enjoy insofar as we are permitted to enjoy it here below, the most intimate communion with God, Father, Son, Spirit of Love; it is the prelude and the pledge of the beatific vision."

-- Pledge of Glory: Eucharistic Meditations based on the Prayer of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity by Dom Eugene Vandeur

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