Electronic Prayer Book

The Art of Conversing With God In Meditation

 

By Canon Paul Marc From: “Gospel Gems,” translated from the French by Rev. Joseph Fredette.
Published by Frederick Pustet Co. (Inc) 1950

 
Divine Intimacy
 

One day a truly Christian woman exclaimed: “I cannot become accus­tomed to the idea that God is here, near me, in me, and that He is associated with my entire life. If I could become penetrated with this cherished Presence, nothing would be too hard for me.” How many of the faithful could reason likewise! Their great trouble is not poverty nor sickness, but the unhappiness of possessing God in them without thinking of Him. They have Him, but as though they had Him not. They are blind, blind through their own fault. It would suffice for them to search thoroughly, to meditate and so draw nearer to the Eternal; but this is an intellectual effort which they do not make and which they will never make. They die of thirst, while the Fountain of Life is at their side. They die from not being loved, and Love itself is here, within them. One should reflect a few moments each day, make sincere acts of faith and adoration, search gropingly and say: “My God, Thou art here, in me, belonging entirely to me, behind the veil of my body.” Contact would be established immediately. The celestial countenance would appear. But contact is not made. What a pityl So many souls could be made happy if they so wished; yet, through their carelessness, they grope in the dark as orphans, orphans of Godl It is so simple to think of God, as of some living person. We think of our friendls when they are far away, and this remembrance a charm. ‘Why should we not bring ourselves to think of the Lord who is near-by? “My little children, I am with you,” He once said. “I am with your: When we wish to contact persons at a distance, we telephone or communicate by radio, and our heart listens and beats in harmony. If we accomplish this with powerless creatures, could it not be done with the All-Powerful? A child converses with his mother, the mother with the child, and to think we are unable to communicate with Him who has ordained that men communicate with one another! When many tmiles separate US from a beloved friend, we seize a pen, and so speak to him without seeing him. Could we not make use of prayer to speak with God within us, even though we see Him not? When we have vowed to a real friend the most profound tenderness, it seems that he has become part of our being; “communion” is developed. God has vowed to each one of us an infinite tenderness, a tenderness which induced Him to declare: “I abide in you; abide in Me, abide in My Love.” Yet we do not reflect upon this “Spiritual Communion” which He has established, as though this supreme law of our existence were a magnificent dream. We appear to despise this gift of God.

You have undoubtedly visited one of those marvelous convent chapels, meditative chapels where the soul effuses itself. There you have been deeply moved. Acts of adoration have spontaneously burst forth from your heart. There you enjoyed God. But in your ownself there exists a more beautiful sanctuary, a living one, erected by the Lord on the day of your baptism. And this sanctuary is in­habited. Frequently Jesus descends therein and makes it His abode. There He awaits you and would like to see you too enter there in thought. Search, adore, and repeat this simple cry: “My Lord and my God. Thou knowest all. Thou knowest that I love Thee I” “He whom Thou lovest is ill.” “Father, I have sinned against heaven and Thee. I am no longer worthy of being called Thy child.” “If Thou willest, Thou canst make me whole.” “Remember me in Thy Kingdom.” Yes, you could easily adopt such exclamations. And you do not? Your thoughts, your cares, your distresses are confided to creatures, while God receives nothing from you, absolutely nothing. In Palestine everybody wanted Him; Martha and Mary listened to Him; Zachaeus welcomed Him at his home; Magdalen placed at His feet her distress, her sins.

You could do as much. One thing only would be required. It would be enough for you to gaze heavenward and open the door of your interior temple. And this “tiny bit” you do not perform? A simple veil separates you from the beautiful face of Christ. You would have but to lift it. He would call you by name: “Maryl” And you would answer: “My good Masterl” He would repeat what He said to the Visionary of Paray-le­Monial: “My Heart overflows with kindness towards you. I can no longer retain the flames of My Love.”

 
Heaven On Earth
 

Yes, “Heaven on Earth” does exist, and here it is. We are able to converse’ with God Himself, to speak with God, whenever one so desires, everywhere, at all hours of day and night, and informally, to speak of Him, of His Perfections, of His Glory, of His interests; to open our hearts to Him; to mention all that interests us, with the feeling that we will be welcomed without delay and fully understood, that there will exist a real communion of thought between Him and us, a thorough and cordial greeting. Is this not in reality Heaven on earth? Life would become a festival if we conversed as children with our Father from above. Alas, so many, even among the best, never give this truth a thought! When it is a question of meeting the Lord, of praying, they are chilled and frightened. They are awe-stricken by the majesty of God. They believe, in practice, that the Saviour is constantly at their service, for the thousands of trifles of their poor life. It is so beautiful – that they hesitate. Prayer may appear upon their lips, but suddenly it stops; or, if it does pass, the heart is not there to receive it. As a consequence, one does not pray well, or as little as possible; only when necessary, if at all! Therefore, good is not accomplished, or very little, in us, around us, in the Church, for the sinners. “The torrents of graces” contained in the Heart of the Saviour, torrents desirous of spreading, are suddenly halted – by our own fault, by our misunderstanding of prayer. This is sad, indeed. Prayer, true prayer, simple prayer, prayer such as we find it in the Gospel, resorted to by beings such as us, not superior to us, this prayer which has enraptured Christ, which has ravished His graces, which enables us to ravish Him and, in turn, to ravish all His favours – alas! how rare it is! And yet, it is so simple. Let us listen to the Master as we have never done before, and from the bottom of our hearts. Is He willing, yes or no, to be approached by each and everyone of us? Is He truly with us, every second, for life, until death? He said: “Speak to Me.” Yes, “Speak to Me!” It is the exact translation of the word “PRAY!” He insisted, saying: “You must speak to Me – Oportet semper orare.” You must – that is: I so desire. Cast away your old fears, your troubles of etiquette, your scruples. “Come to Me – Venite ad Me omnes.” Come to Me all without exception. You, the sinners, the unworthy, especially YOU. It is so clear. He insisted again, and said: “You may ask Me anything – Quodcumque petieritis.” Anything – “And if you ask it of My Father in My Name, you will receive it.” He still insisted: “You must speak to Me unceasingly – Oportet semper orare.” Translate: “You must tell Me everything. You must open your heart wide, and conceal nothing. I wish to know everything. That which pertains to you pertains to Me. What interests you interests Me, having created and redeemed you, having endured, like you and for you, the heavy burden of life. Speak to Me as you would to a friend, to a mother. Be not afraid; I will understand. Besides, I have lights for your dark moments, graces for all your needs, soothing balms for your wounds, and flames to consume all your troubles.”

Therefore, notwithstanding the formidable distance which separates me from Him, I can tell God everything. He is “the Father,” and I, “the child.” He is the “Brother, the Friend, the Consolation. of Israel.” We are “His own:” Yes, He has made use of this expression, “His own,” and this presupposes a profound attachment to each and everyone of us. I can tell Him everything! But, O My God, what I have to say to Thee is so insignificant! Let Me hear it nevertheless! It will be an act of faith, of hope and of love. In the Gospel I speak of a strand of falling hair which I perceive. And yet, how insigniticant is a strand of hair! But, My God, what can I tell Thee? I am so ignorant. Bare your life to Me, as if you saw Me seated before you. I am in reality near you, and I listen. You open your heart to those whom you love. Open it to Me. Tell Me about yourself. It is not difficult to speak to Me as follows: “I was bruised a moment ago. I have lost all courage. It is too hard. I will fall. My duties crush me. No one understands me. My faults constantly dominate me. Would that I could love Thee, never more to offend Thee. Grant that I may hear and see. He whom Thou lovest is ill.” Could you not speak to Me in this manner? But, O Lord there are moments when desolation haunts me when I wander about dejectedly, when I can find nothing to tell Thee. They say to Me: “I have nothing to say.” Act very simply. Be “yourself” with Me. Strive to be natural, thereby pleasing Me. If you address yourself to Me, such is my desire, and this is “Prayer.” At last, do you understand? A final word, O Lord. The fact is, I fear Thee. Just see:

Thou holdest my eternity in Thy hands. I have offended Thee. This is terrible. It stands out between Thee and me.

But all that is forgiven. Nothing remains between you and Me. The weight of your sin has fallen into the abyss of My Heart, it will never reappear, never, never! Adore My love. Love Me a thousand times and better. Live for My glory. Your soul is dearer to Me, because It has cost Me more. Your prayer is more appreciated, because I almost lost you. You dare not come to Me? But, see how the poor sick people came to Me in Galilee. They knew how to, find Me and speak to Me. And I healed them all, remember, all of them. All benefited by the imposition of My hands. And yet, they were neither heroes nor saints. Imitate them. I wish to listen to you, to heal you. But, speak to Me; yes, speak to Me. Be not afraid; I am near you; I belong to you. Speak your mind to Me. Express your desires. Place your soul into mine. Let Me Hear the sound of your voice, the voice of My beloved child. For I love you, I love you and wish to do you good.

Am I understood plainly? Will you open your eyes at the hour of death only? My God! My God! I am overwhelmed and begin to understand, to grasp this great mystery of prayer. I was ignorant of the beauty of it all. I knew not that I could go as far as that – with Thee! I never imagined that you were so interested in me. What am I? Nothing! I am of no account to anyone. I never ventured to believe that I meant, so much to Thee! I have understood. I shall never again become dry and distant, a “closed door.” I will seek Thee, O Lord. Naturally, I will speak of Thee, of Thy interests, of Thy Glory. This, first of all. I will remain for a second under Thy feet as a speck of dust. But after this brief adoration, this inward gaze, I will speak to Thee of myself and venture to lay bare my soul to Thee. Everything will be related to Thee, to Thee alone. And I shall be truthful, natural. No longer will I fear. Nothing will stop me. Everywhere, at work, on the street, at home as at church, I will keep Thee well informed. I crave Thy help. I will depend upon Thee. I will envisage Thee for a moment, and then with a simple faith, devoid of affectation, I will say to Thee; “My God! My beloved Father! My Jesus! Thou art near me.” Then; after having spoken to Thee, I will rest in peace, and Thou will direct me. If I ever imagine that Thou payest no attention to me. I will not hesitate. I will await Thine hour. Thy silence will not alter my determination to serve Thee. It will redouble my hopes. Now I know Thee. I possess Thy Gospel ­ Thy Host – Thy Heart!