Workshop of Gerard David, “Virgin and Child”, (ca. 1510)
It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
It is utterly amazing what happens when we pray, when we ask God the Father for something in Jesus’ name—that is, when we sincerely ask for something that Jesus Himself would ask to be given.
God answers such prayers, always. For it is then that we pray in union with the Sacred and Most Pure Heart of Jesus.
I dare to say that such a prayer may look and sound something like this:
“Father, may I enter into the light of Your face?”
I say “dare”, for how can we? How can we who are so unworthy enter such a light?
It’s a good question. For we, by ourselves, can’t enter such a light.
But Jesus can…and He did and He does and He always will.
And Jesus lives in us, in our hearts—if we invite Him in, if we open our hearts and allow Him to enter—if we call out with David: “Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.” (Psalm 24:7)
Jesus purifies our hearts with His presence…
…if we allow Him to overturn the money-changing tables within us…
…if we allow Him to “destroy” the “temple” within each of us, those temples built “with human hands” in order to glorify ourselves…
…if we allow Him to leave not “one stone upon another” in raising up a new temple, one “not made with hands” but “in His own image”…
…if we allow His “zeal” for His Father’s “house” to “consume” us, to consume us with the fire of His love—with the fire of the Holy Spirit—that divine, unifying love, shared between Eternal Father and Only-Begotten Son.
Then shall we be God’s holy dwelling place—His Tabernacle—purified and cleansed, “holy and righteous in His sight all the days of our life”.
And we shall be free, “free to worship Him without fear”.
For it will “no longer” be us “who live”, but “Christ Who lives in” us.
And Christ Jesus freely enters the light of the Father’s face.
Let us then, each one of us, pray prayers that Jesus would agree with, and let us do so with great hope and confidence in God’s mercy and love:
Lord Jesus, enter my heart.
Lord Jesus, purify me, cleanse my heart.
Lord Jesus, overturn the money-changing tables within me, those that serve my self and not God our Father.
Lord Jesus, destroy the temple built by myself, to myself—destroy the temple of self-love—leave not one stone upon another and then rebuild it in Your own image.
Lord Jesus, let your zeal for Your Father’s house completely consume me with the fire of Your love—the fire of the Holy Spirit—that divine, unifying love, shared between Eternal Father and Only-Begotten Son.
Lord Jesus, enter the light of our Father’s face on my behalf. For I am not worthy to enter that light, but if You only say the word, my soul shall be healed.
Lord Jesus, heal me of my scrupulous fear of myself, of my secret self-worship that places my weakness above Your forgiveness, my sin above the redeeming power of Your Most Precious Blood.
Lord Jesus, Your mercy, Your Love, is infinitely greater than my unworthiness. You are The Word made flesh, and You are always present. You are The Word always being spoken. You are healing always being offered.
I say “Yes”.
I accept. I receive Your healing. You speak and I live.
I thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your Cross and for Your Resurrection. I praise You for Your glory.
I so then bow down all the powers of my soul and humbly ask our Heavenly Father in Your Most Sacred Name:
“Father, may I enter into the light of Your face? For it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
“Blessed are the pure of heart, they will see God.”
(Friday Thoughts is a new series to appear every Friday, written by various members of the extended Passionist community.)