“I have loved thee”

I have been thinking about starting a kind of series for you all: some musings on prayer, some thoughts, some gleanings, probably in random order.  I pulled an article out of my files this morning by Jessica Powers, OCD, entitled “Who Hath First Loved Us.”  Those five words are the key and the basis for prayer.  Prayer is nothing but a response to Him “who hath first loved us.”  And so we must start by steeping ourselves in His love, by consciously opening ourselves up to His love, by paying attention to that desire at the core of our being for His love.  For that desire is, in and of itself, a response to His love touching our lives.  “Quest is the condition of the wayfarer, of the lover.  The mind points out the search, and the heart goes seeking; it reaches out toward the lovable known.  This is the fundamental attitude of the Christian.”

The condition of search . . . presupposes another condition that the words of the Mystical Doctor [St. John of the Cross] always imply.  It is the condition of being sought.  God is there in the shadows; He has been seeking the soul, inviting it, calling it to Himself with the cry of infinite and incomprehensible love.  He says to ever soul: “I have loved thee by name; thou art Mine.”  And this is no sudden movement on the part of God!  It is a search that had no beginning.  “I have loved thee,” He says, “with an everlasting love.”

Just sit with that last sentence for a minute . . . a long minute . . . and let it speak deeply to your heart.  That is prayer.

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