From the Gospel of Mark ...
"Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and His disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!' Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!' Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him.' So they called to the blind man, 'Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.' Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. 'What do you want me to do for you?' Jesus asked him. The blind man said, 'Rabbi, I want to see.' 'Go,' said Jesus, 'your faith has healed you.' Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road" (Mark 10:46-52).
In this scripture, Bartimaeus recognizes Jesus. He may be blind but He has the spiritual insight to know that Jesus is The One he should turn to. He begs The Lord, "have mercy on me." He places his hope in Jesus. He trusts Him. He doesn't care what the other people think, He just wants The Lord. He calls out to Him, with humility and great faith. Even amidst a noisy crowd, Jesus hears him and responds to his faith.
Jesus asks a simple yet profound question of Bartimaeus, a question He still asks us today. "What do you want me to do for you?"
In prayer today, let's reflect deeply on the answer to this question in our own lives. Yes, I'm sure there are many things we could say. I myself have a laundry list of things I would love Jesus to do for me, but maybe deep in our hearts we may simply want to "see" Him also. To get to know Him, to believe He is real, and present with us throughout life. We may simply want to know that, like in the case of Bartimaeus, Jesus hears our prayers and will answer them. Or maybe we will have our eyes opened too, and recognize all that Jesus has already done for us. There is no wrong answer here. God knows your heart, and He already loves you, no matter what you say.
Imagine Jesus in front of you, looking at you with love, calling you gently by your name, and saying "What do you want me to do for you?" When we really give this meditation a chance and open our hearts to God, we may be surprised to learn what it is that we really want. Perhaps even our answer will be the same, "Lord, I want to see."
In our own spiritual blindness we have all asked Jesus the question at some point in our lives, "Where are you Lord?" Or perhaps, "Where were you Lord, when I needed you?" There are plenty of moments in our lives when we don't "see" Jesus the way we want to, when we want to. But through the eyes of faith, we can still believe He is there, that He is here now, working in us, and on us. He is shaping us and preparing us. Just as the crowd told Bartimaeus ... "He's calling you." Jesus will also open our eyes to recognize Him and the new life He offers us.
With confidence in God's goodness, let's call out to The Lord in our heart of hearts. With a new spiritual vision let's recognize Jesus as The Light of the world within us. God has a wonderful plan for our lives, and we don't need to see what it is as much as we need to "see" Jesus who will guide us to it. Like Bartimaeus, who after receiving his sight, "followed Jesus along the road", may we also follow Jesus in our own daily walk and allow The Light of Christ to guide our steps, in a new way today.
A powerful and practical scripture from Colossians Chapter Three ...
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another. As the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:12-17).
May God grant us the grace to love and serve Him in this manner, and may He bless you, and everyone near and dear to you, in a new way, today!
"Be Still and Know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)
God knows who we are and wants us to know who He is. This small scripture has a big message. It
reveals that first of all God wants us to know Him, that it's possible to know Him, and finally tells us how we can come to know Him. In a new way, let's revisit our prayer life and explore what it means to
"Be Still" in silent prayer.
Silent prayer - What is it?
All prayer is Good! Prayer is the means by which we communicate with God. Through prayer we acknowledge God as our Creator, and appreciate and honor His Goodness. In Jesus' name, we thank The Father for all that He has given us, we ask for help for our loved ones and we also ask for ourselves ... and it's ok to ask for ourselves! But then there is this intimate prayer, a unique form of prayer that doesn't take the place of vocal prayer, but only adds to it. In this type of meditative or contemplative prayer, we unite ourselves more closely with God and are more receptive to listening rather than speaking. We are not only seeking His voice in our hearts but longing to hear His voice in our lives, showing us the way as He provides us the graces we need to follow our path and carry out His plan.
How do we pray this way?
In silent prayer, we simply present ourselves to God. We come as we are. No matter what is going on in our lives, no matter what mood we are in, no matter what's on our mind, no matter how little time we have to spare - we just come. We respond to the invitation of Christ, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Fully and completely, leaving our false self behind, we approach our Creator who loves us unconditionally, just as we are in this moment now.
By setting aside a certain amount of prayer time each day devoted exclusively to God, we are telling Him that He is important to us, that we are interested in getting to know Him better. Imagine trying to develop a friendship or relationship with someone but never speaking to them or spending any time together. You wouldn't get to know them very well.
We make time for what is important to us. So the very act of putting aside five minutes of quiet time to spend with the Lord every day shows Him that He is important to us. And that's all we do, sit quietly and listen, acknowledging that God is present, and opening up our hearts and minds to Him. Sounds simple but it takes time to get used to it. There will be a lot of distractions at first but when we let go of the noise we can hear the Lord better. No T.V., computer, games or cell phones to interrupt us but instead just a few minutes of silence with The Lord. God lives within us but His is a voice we drown out too frequently. In the stillness of our souls, we find rest, because that's where God is. Silent prayer is the way we get there.
Why do it?
Every human heart has a longing to be loved unconditionally. This longing can only be filled by the one who made the human heart. When we pray, we seek out the one who is Love. The One who accepts us, who understands us, who knows us, who cares about us, who doesn't put limits or deadlines or conditions upon us. The one who just "is" and loves us just the way we are. We don't have to do anything to earn this Love and we can never pay Him back. It's a love no other human being can give us. And it's supposed to be that way.
We practice silent prayer to uncover who God is and by doing so come to discover who we are also. When we acknowledge God as our center, we can discern His plan for our life more easily. The ultimate goal of meditation in prayer is to uncover God's perfect Will and purpose for our lives and unite ourselves with the Love that made heaven and earth.
God doesn't force Himself on us. We must approach Him, freely. We have nothing to fear. God is a Loving Father and by making a habit of practicing silent prayer daily we can come to know His Love in a new way, today.
Reflection Questions we can ask ourselves
Is God important to us?
Are we willing to make time for the One who made time?
When we pray, do we do all the talking? Are we open to listening?
Do we believe that God is Good and Loving, or do we have some unresolved dispute with Him?
Let's re-open the doors of communication and take a few minutes to talk to God,
with or without words.
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God calls us to trust in Him. He can handle the situations of our daily lives better than we can. He will provide us the graces we need. Let's turn to Him in prayer now ...
“Dear Lord, you know every detail of this situation I bring to You now. You know how much of it is in my control and how much is not. Please give me a new way of seeing this. Help me to surrender the matter to you. Help me to change the way I look at it. I ask you to grant me the graces I need to see this in a new light, Your Light, and to be set free from all worry, sadness or fear. I ask for this grace for myself, and for others who naturally see things from their own perspective as well. Give us Your Heavenly perspective and a new outlook on life so that we may live in the new way you want us to. Amen."
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New Way Today
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