In the midst of a family crisis, I found refuge in the words of the prayer Jesus gave us.
When we are open to the Holy Spirit, the Father shines His purifying light on us. The process is often painful, though, because when the light of the Father comes into our hearts and lives, the darkness is pushed out.
Looks like I must be open to God’s work because my whole life has been shattered by decades-old secrets revealed by angry adult children. The whole process is messy but God breaks through my anxiety some days so I can respond to His call for complete surrender.
However, like most mothers, I try to fix problems only to make situations worse. Back and forth I go, from heavenly peace to a state of sheer panic when I can hardly function. However, through it all, I know God is using this mess to bring healing to the whole family, just like He is healing His entire Church. Our only recourse is to draw closer to the heart of the Lord and give Him our fiat, in the middle of our confusion and say with Mary:
“May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38).
The Our Father Is Now in My Spirit
Even though I understand God is in control and purifying me, I slipped back into my stress mode once again earlier this week, I stopped praying and instead worried. Then, in the middle of what I call mental kung-fu, (picture words battling with each other in my head), I could “hear” a musical version of the Our Father, deep in my spirit, at the same time as I indulged in my own whirling thoughts.
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
When I paid attention, the words Jesus taught His disciples rose up, sweeping away all my own thoughts, ushering in joyful worship and thanksgiving. The sense I had was this was a gift, an early Christmas gift from the Father. I did not earn this gift of prayer. I did not even ask for it. It is not a sign of holiness. I was simply desperate enough to in my core to accept unconsciously any help God sent my way. Now the Our Father is implanted in my heart, soul, mind, and spirit. I am surprised but relieved and at peace at the same time.
I always thought the prayer of the heart was supposed to be the Jesus Prayer. After all, the early monks repeated these word many times throughout the day in an effort to pray constantly: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The ultimate goal was for the Jesus Prayer to become a litany in the monk’s heart and soul.
As always, though, God surprised me and did it His way, not my way. It is the Our Father which is now a constant litany in my spirit, deeper than conscious thought.
The Father IS kind and gives us the tools we need to continue our journey into His heart.
connecting with theology is a verb and reconciled to you