Sometimes we resist what is most fulfilling in life, INTIMACY.
Intimate relationships make us feel understood, loved and desired.
God wants a very special sacred intimacy with each and every soul.
He already knows and understands everything about us:
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Luke 12:7
But how much do we know and understand God?
God says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
It is difficult to fathom the wisdom and holiness of God. Given God is omniscient (i.e., all knowing), God does not have to wonder about uncertainties like we do. He knows the future and He knows the path we need to take to succeed in fulfilling our true purpose in life.
God has a plan for us: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
God wants us to seek Him and surrender to Him:
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
I personally believe there are three key obstacles standing between God and Man: sin, ignorance and arrogance.
Sin separates us from God. We cannot begin a relationship of sacred intimacy with Our Lord Jesus until we repent and confess our sins:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Ignorance and arrogance can also destroy the formation of an intimate sacred relationship with God. We may not understand that God desires an intimate relationship with us and so fail to trust Him to help us with all the details in our lives. Arrogance flows from a lack of faith in God and a self-confidence and a sense of self-sufficiency that precludes the need for a relationship with God
If we don’t first desire intimacy with God we will never find it because God does not force Himself upon us. God waits for us and He uses many ways to lead us to Him.
In my case God waited until I was at a very low point in my life to intervene; a personal crisis caused me to question even my desire to live. I remember praying and hearing God’s voice in my heart.
God asked me: “What is love?”
and I thought I knew what love was so I answered “Love is a feeling”
and to this the gentle voice in my heart, speaking like a whisper said “Wrong”. So I asked “What is it then?”
And God said, “Love is a choice”.
The rest of the conversation happened in silence without words through the power of the Holy Spirit. I realized that my life was in trouble because the choices I was making were selfish. From that moment in my life I began to scrutinize every choice with a question “Is this choice love?”
The choice called love honours God, but so often we make choices that make us ‘feel good’ and ‘look good’ as opposed to ‘be good’ the way God wants us to ‘be good’.
Over the last eighteen years I have sought and found God everywhere. I found Him in the distressed as I began a volunteer role as a distress center counselor helping people with mental health issues. I found Him in the poor living on the streets. I found Him in my husband supporting me and helping me to choose new paths to honour God. I found Him in the Sacrament of Love in the Church, the Eucharist. I found Him in the Bible speaking to me and all souls and I found Him in my heart waiting for me.
But the most important and the most moving place where I found God was on Calvary, at the place of His crucifixion. Motivated to give God glory I decided I would do what St. Padre Pio (1887-1968) was known to say, “Never let a day go by without meditating on the Passion of Christ.”
St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) like St. Padre Pio wore the wounds of Our Saviour upon his flesh in the form of the stigmata. St. Francis used to weep over the suffering that Jesus endured for our redemption. People used to ask St. Francis, “why are you crying?” St. Francis would reply, “I am weeping over the pains and insults of my Divine Master. But what grieves me most is that men for whom He suffered so much never think of the torments He endured.”
I don’t wear the wounds of Our Crucified Lord on my flesh, but I do wear them on my heart and I am committed to never letting a day go by without remembering the Passion of Christ.
The memory of the Passion of Christ has done three things for me. Every day remembering how much Jesus suffered to save us silences the power of temptation in my life. It creates a zeal in me to give God glory and it fosters an intimacy that bonds my heart to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The memory of the Passion of Christ of Jesus has changed my heart and my life.
God promised long before Jesus came into the world as the God-Man to give us a new heart.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
This promise of a new heart and a new spirit is fulfilled by Jesus dying for our redemption. By dying for us we receive in Baptism the ‘new heart’ purified by the Blood of Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit of God.
Many of us were baptized as children and that placed a great responsibility on our parents to keep watering the seeds of divine love we received at Baptism. As adults we face the challenge daily to either please God and do His Holy Will or to offend God by pursuing our own selfish desires often in conflict with God’s Will.
How do we stay faithful to God?
What can keep us desiring what God desires?
Intimacy and fidelity generally go together.
Jesus was faithful to us to the point of death! The question is will we be faithful to Him?
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Intimate relationships are full of intimate experiences and I encourage you if you desire an intimate sacred relationship with the Holy Lord Jesus to pray and to remember His Passion every day and in this remembrance never forget that He rose from the dead to defeat the power of death.
It is possible to go through life without ever entering into divine intimacy, but once you discover this sacred intimacy you will want to help others find it too and that’s why I write these posts.
Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Let’s allow Jesus to embrace us. Let’s turn away from sin and keep our hearts and minds on God’s Holy Will.
Please join me with Christians all over the world that are stopping at the Time Jesus died for us, 3pm, to remember the Passion of Christ and to pray for Jesus to send His Holy Spirit upon our suffering world. God wants to help us to conquer evil in our lives and in our world. Let’s trust in God and enter into a spiritual intimacy that will fill us with faith, hope and love!