There are so many things in this world to be fascinated by, but I want to be fascinated by Christ alone. We can turn our eyes to the news, politics, violence, drama, money,the way we look, or relationships, but fascinations pull us. And if we are not we are being pulled toward Christ we are being pulled away. So lately my simple prayer has been Jesus help me to fall more in love with you.
So often it feels that when I pray I am fascinated by my sins, the hurts in my heart, the stones in my way and I’m focused on everything but him. Prayer should be me looking at Jesus, not me sitting in front of Him looking at myself. If I am looking at myself, how am I supposed to know where to go. My eyes need to be on the one I am trying to follow.
Yesterday for example was one of those days. I went to work and I had kids have major melt downs, then I came home and didn’t realize the construction crew had moved further up, and there was no driveway on this part of the road and I ended bashing the back of my car trying to turn around, then I came in and got in a fight with my mom. I could feel my heart racing just trying to keep up with my anger. Then He stopped me right there. I had become fascinated by my sin, all that had gone wrong, and all these things that could not be undone. It was like being a kid again, you know when your parent comes in and you’re all upset, and they say “look at me,” except it was Jesus speaking to me. Speaking to my upset heart, telling me “Look at me, everything is going to be alright”. And in that childlike moment I had the opportunity to fall more deeply in love with Christ, and I seized it. I turned all my fascination towards Him, and I wish I could say I do this every time. The devil wants us to be distracted and fascinated by ourselves and our own wants and needs, but when we are striving for heaven we can’t do that.
So how do we avoid it? We pray. And Ignatious of Loyola’s 5 step method is so helpful. Because the first step is to ask for God’s light and grace to look at your day through His eyes. Then the second step is to find things you are thankful for. So already within the first two steps you have turned your eyes towards God and His goodness that is at work in your life. Then the third step is to review your day, fourth step: ask for forgiveness, and the final step is to make amends, and pray for others. Praying this method before mass yesterday got me good. Because as I reviewed my day and looked for things I was thankful for, I found that the same kids who had driven me up the walls that day were the same kids I was thankful for, and the sins that I found myself in throughout that day were cast as far as the east is front the west as soon as I handed them over to Christ. Praying in this way helped me to focus on how much He loves me, and helped me to fall all the more in love with Him. As we conversed I could feel His gentleness, His mercy, and I knew that no matter what He was going to provide. For example looking back at the moment I bashed my car, rather than seeing it as a punishment for something I did I was able to look back at Jesus with me in that moment. I could see Him standing there and He wasn’t clapping His hands, no He was feeling my frustration with me and wanting to console me.
He was not going to just leave me empty handed. He will provide all that I need in order to do His will. Why? Because my Father is a good father. And He loves me even still. He holds my heart, casts away the wrongs of my past, heals what is broken and holds the key to my future. And all I have to do is be little and look up at my Father’s face. How could I not be completely fascinated by the Father’s love for me?