Day Eight. Monday, February 24, 2020
Not my will, but your will be done.
Silence. Find a quiet place in your house, at work or school, or best, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Breathe slowly. Relax. Imagine that your cares and concerns are being placed in a box where they will not be forgotten, where you and God can together seek to solve them at the right time. God’s time. At the beginning, it may be helpful to set a timer. Three minutes of silence is probably a minimum. It could seem long at first, but hopefully becomes more peaceful as you get used to the silence. This time of silence and focus on breathing is like stretching before exercise.
Ask God to come into your heart. Ask Jesus to come into your heart. Seeking Jesus is at the heart of all prayer, even if we do not always realize it.
Today’s Scripture. Matthew 26:36-46. Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!” Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open. He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again. Then he returned to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at hand.”
Today’s Reflection. I am a classic “Type A” personality. I want to work, I like to see accomplishments, I find it hard to slow down. While this might get rewarded in many parts of the world, like the corporate world, this type of activity is not conducive to spiritual growth. If we are to have a relationship with Jesus, we must get to know him. And that means keeping watch with him and for him.
Looking for appropriate time for silence and prayer is important. Our hearts can be filled with too much activity, our brains racing with too many distractions. What if we simply worked to be quiet? What if we took time to pray? What if we made it a point to give to God periods of time in our day when we offered to him time to do with us as he saw fit?
At a time when I might be tempted to be developing a plan, Jesus seeks relationship with his Father. As a human, he is aware of the power of a relationship with God, his Father. He shows Peter, James and John the importance of prayer. But in their activity, planning and worries, they cannot keep awake.
We must, must, must make time for contemplative prayer in our lives. How can we imitate Jesus if we do not know him? How is it we can see Jesus in the poor if we do not spend time in his presence in the tabernacle or monstrance? How can we hear the voice of Jesus if we make no time to hear his Word?
Faith is not magic. We must do something to open our heart and soul so that Jesus can enter in. Jesus respects our freedom ultimately, and so he will not force his way into our hearts. Rather, if we wish the blessings that come with a relationship with Jesus, then we have to keep watch with him in prayer.
Our Father. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by the 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. Amen.
Hail Mary. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory Be. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Today’s Challenge. Make it a point to pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or to spend some time in silence in prayer with Jesus.
Intentions. Let us pray for those whose lives are so filled with violence, pain and suffering they find it hard to spend time with Jesus.
Closing Prayer. Lord Jesus, you call us to spend time with you. You ask us to watch with you so that in our lives we might always see how it is you are present to us. Help us to seek out that silence which helps us to see more clearly what it is we should do. Help us to watch with you so that we might see you more clearly in the lives of the poor and suffering. Help us to wait upon you so that we might know and understand how it is we are to be more like you. Help us to strengthen our relationship with you, so that becoming closer to you we may share your love with others. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.