Let God gaze at you. This is the God who made you and loves you.
- When cold, you might stand before the sun and let it’s warmth bathe you. A suggestion of St Ignatius is a spiritual version of that. He suggests that before we begin a time of prayer we stand for about a minute and let God gaze at us. This is the God who made you and loves you.
- So take a minute now. Stand up if you can, or remain sitting if that makes more sense. Be still, and let God look at you, or be with you, in any way that God wants.
However dark the night, Jesus shines as a radiant dawn
- The winter solstice. At this time we experience the shortest days and longest nights of the year. However dark the night, Jesus shines as a radiant dawn.
- Sometimes we experience this affectively (we feel it) and we are consoled. Other times we hold onto it in faith even though our own dark night obscures the feel of it.
- This is still a consolation although less affective (less of a felt experience). We might call it a ‘head consolation’ rather than a ‘heart consolation’.
- In your life of faith at the moment, are you experiencing some consolation? Is it of the heart (affective) or of the head (non-affective)?
- Sometimes God allows a certain dryness or darkness in our lives - but we are not abandoned. God is still there and God’s light is still there. It is just that we cannot perceive that light. John of the Cross has much to say on this matter:
The endurance of darkness is the preparation for great light.”
“In the dark night of the soul, bright flows the river of God.”
“God has to work in the soul in secret and in darkness because if we fully knew what was happening, and what Mystery, transformation, God and Grace will eventually ask of us, we would either try to take charge or stop the whole process.”
- One of the chants of Taizé invites us to sing:
In our darkness
there is no darkness.
With you, o Lord,
the deepest night
is clear as the day.
Talk to God
How does Jesus want to bring his healing light, to bathe you in the warmth of his love?
- Where are you sensing the light of Christ in your life? Delight in that sense. Breathe it in.
- Are there darker places you don’t want God to see? Do you dare to show Jesus those parts of yourself?
- How does Jesus want to bring his healing light, to bathe you in the warmth of his love? Can you let him do that?
Lord and Ruler,
Root of Jesse,
Key of David,
King of the Nations,
Emmanuel, Come Jesus.