“To please God … to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness … to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son – it seems impossible … but so it is.” C. S. Lewis
We may pour out our grief to God, or come with our requests. “But there is more to a relationship than that. Praying solely in this way would be like having a friendship whose only purpose was to enable you to ask for things. So besides lamenting to God and asking God for things, there is another way of being with God – and that is joyfully. …St. Ignatius encourages people to imagine themselves alongside Jesus. It’s different than imagining yourself with God, who is often imagined more as a ‘presence.’ Imagining yourself with Jesus means something more specific. …This may mean something as simple as sitting joyfully with [Jesus] in prayer and imagining [Jesus] sitting joyfully with you. …laugh with the God who smiles when seeing you, rejoices over your very existence, and takes delight in you, all the days of your life. …In his book Armchair Mystic, Mark Thibodeaux, a Jesuit spiritual writer, distinguishes between four stages of prayer. The first is talking at God (which includes petitionary prayer, that is, asking for help). The second is talking to God (which includes expressing your feelings and emotions, frustrations and hopes to God). The third is listening to God (a more contemplative way of reflecting on what is going on in your daily life as well as being attentive to the inner movements of your soul during prayer). The final way is being with God (this is closer to ‘centering prayer,’ a prayer of presence). …One of my favorite suggestions for a meditation is Anthony deMello’s statement: ‘Look at God looking at you … and smiling.’ DeMellos’ image is essentially an invitation into a prayer of joy and contentment, into what you might call private, one-on-one time with a smiling God, into seeing the world the way that God does.” James Martin
“you are … God’s special possession”
1 Peter 2:9
Moving From Head to Heart
- “Do you think of Jesus as “smiling?” …smiling at you?
- …rejoicing in you, like an artist in her work? like a mother in her son?
- Are you able to simply “be with God?” …focusing on being “present” to him?
Abba, let me taste more of your love.
For More: Armchair Mystic by Mark Thibodeaux
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)