Do you sometimes get stuck in prayer? You know you should be doing more than telling God about your day, or presenting your needs to Him, but you’re having trouble meditating, or you’re not sure how to do it.
When I am distracted, I picture Jesus in His suffering. Certain scenes always move me. Like St. Teresa of Avila, I like to visit Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. In my mind I kneel beside Him, perhaps supporting Him with my arm, whispering words of encouragement in His ear, or gently mopping the bloody sweat from His brow.
Other times, I take the place of Veronica, wiping His face with my veil after He has stumbled under the weight of the Cross.
Lately, I am spending more time before Jesus as He is crowned with thorns. As the soldiers swarm around Him, bowing in mockery, I bow in adoration. I crown Him King in my heart. I offer Him my love, and I see His eyes, which in His pain can barely focus on anything, focus for a moment on me and be consoled.
Since Jesus has often comforted me, I can offer that comfort back to Him. It may seem ridiculous that my comfort would mean anything to the Lord of the Universe. He is everything, after all, and I am nothing. But I know He accepts it–not for His own sake, but for mine and for the world’s.
If my two-year old should come and offer to kiss me when I hurt myself, I would not reject him. Just the thought of it would make me smile. Jesus treats me the same way I treat my son. He lets me soothe His pain as a sign of my love. He accepts the consolation in His love.
And the love that flows between us is the essence of prayer.
14 thoughts on “Comforting the One who has comforted you”
Great post, Connie. Lately I have been more interested in reading how the pathophysiology of Jesus’ sufferings – how the scourging, carrying of the cross and the crucifixion affected his different organ systems (blame the nurse in me!)That’s the way in which I want to enter more deeply into His suffering. Whichever way we look at it, I agree with you that it is good to console Him in His suffering for us.
Once again, I love how we each use our own personalities and experiences in our unique relationship with God. Thanks for the comment.
Connie Its a great Practice that St. Teresa had in her life. it’s very true it always consoles us in our prayer life and comforts us. but do we have something greater then this?
Sandeep, are you referring to supernatural contemplation? I do write about that now and then (you can search for “contemplation” in the sidebar). As you know, contemplation is not something you can practice–you must receive it. I am hoping with this post to help my readers make their prayer a giving and receiving of love, in order to prepare their hearts for the gift of contemplation that may come later.
Years ago I suffered a miscarriage at eight weeks of pregnancy. My one child at that time, Tommy, was less than two, but he could see that Mommy was sad. Instinctively he held out his has hands to me and said “Let’s pray” (or ‘pay’ as his lisping tongue said it) Even at that young age he knew that prayer was the answer to pain.
Thanks for commenting. I’m sorry for your loss. Children can show us so much about the spiritual life, if we’re open to learning from them, can’t they?
I had never read your blog before it was wonderful. How do I continue to be able to read these wonderful spititual blogs. Do I have to sign up for them?
Mary Lou, if you sign up using this link, you will get emails every time I post (generally on Tuesdays and Fridays). Plus, I have published a short e-book that you can download free at the end of the sign up process. http://eepurl.com/AtR51 Thanks.
I have just read your book and found it very encouraging. I loved your post too. I have just finished training with the Jesuits in Dublin to be a Spiritual Director so the use of the imagination in prayer really appeals to me. I look forward to reading more of your posts.
Thanks so much, Paul. We need more good spiritual directors! If you wouldn’t mind taking a few minutes to review my book on Amazon, I’d really appreciate it. Someone gave me a 1-star review yesterday because of the length, so I’m trying to get my average back up. Blessings.
Hi Connie I have posted a 5 star review (name Paulo). Any tips on publishing on Amazon for kindle? I have an idea for a little book on prayer.
You’re awesome! Publishing to Kindle is very easy as far as mechanics go. They have their own program (free) to transform your PDF to Kindle format. I’d keep the formatting simple (which I didn’t do with mine; it was set up as a PDF and I didn’t know any better; I plan to reformat it). Plus, get as much publicity as you can before and right after you publish it. I didn’t intend to make money on this project–it was to get more followers with an eye on the future. But publicizing it on my and other blogs helped me sell enough initially to put me in Amazon’s 100 Best-Selling Catholic Books. From there, the book keeps selling itself, as it’s recommended to more people. I’m astounded at how well it’s done.
Let me know when your project is ready, and I’ll help any way I can.
am amused and blessed by your work, it tings soul bells in multiple octaves. thanks.
here is a clumsily produced batch of my stuff.