I was praying with Pray As You Go yesterday morning and the scripture for the prayer was Matthew 8:23-27, when Jesus is asleep during the storm and the disciples wake Him up in their fear. The music played was Calm me, Lord – Fire of Love performed by Kevin Mayhew. The question was asked:
Do you ever feel that the Lord is asleep to the dangers and difficulties in your life?Pray As You Go, Tuesday July 2, 2019
I found myself entering into the story imaginatively and the storm I imagined myself in was like the maelstrom in Pirates of the Caribbean:
Scary stuff! The last time I did an imaginative contemplation with this passage, which was some years ago, Jesus did wake up to calm the storm. Here however, when I observed that He was sleeping through all of the chaos, I noticed how peaceful He was, and I felt the desire to be able to do likewise: to be able to rest and feel secure, regardless of what was going on around me. I lay down beside Him, and snuggled into Him and closed my eyes. He pulled me closer and whispered to me:
I am keeping you very safe.Revelations of Divine Love – Julian of Norwich
And I did feel safe as I sank into a deep, warm, restful sleep, being held close by Him. This consolation has remained with me since the prayer. On sharing it out loud with my own Spiritual Director, I realised that this is material for repetition. Of repetition, St Ignatius says:
In doing this, we should pay attention and dwell upon those points in which we have experienced greater consolation or desolation or greater spiritual appreciation.The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, first week, third exercise: trans Louis J. Puhl S.J.
An analogy would be like taking a photograph (digital) of something, say a church, and noticing that when you look at it, there seems to be something of interest in the bell tower. You then put a more powerful lens on the camera to focus more closely on the point of interest so that you can see a lot more detail and up close. Making a repetition of a prayer in the way suggested by St Ignatius allows the experience to deepen, and to filter down to extract the essence, to savour the spiritual fruit of it. So, the focus on my next prayer period will be this consolation I experienced during the calming of the storm.
And now this. Enjoy.