Apr 5, 2012

Prayer, is a conversation of love, because, when we are praying, we are not merely speaking words, we are literally pouring ourselves out. So that what we say is coming from the deepest recesses of our soul, from the greatest depths of our heart.

That is what makes this prayer of Jesus, in our Gospel today, so beautiful, so profound and so perfect, because it is the Incarnate Word, God Himself, in His humanity, praying for us. It is Jesus Himself, not just showing us the love that dwells within the very center of the Trinity, but an invitation for us to experience it as well. It is literally love speaking love, a complete pouring out of one to the other.

In fact, that is why this is called Jesus’ Priestly Prayer, because as the Priest, whom all priests are conformed to, He offers the very sacrifice of His passion and death, He literally pours Himself out on the Cross, so that what He does, all ordained priests are called to do, so that what He does all of us are to imitate in living a sacrificial life.

And, in fact, that is what lies at the heart of prayer, that is what all prayer demands, sacrifice, the ability to lay down our very selves, to step away from who want to be in order to allow God to show us who we truly are. For, if prayer is a conversation of love than we cannot deceive ourselves, we cannot try to deceive God, because if we are not willing to pour ourselves out, if we are not willing to make every effort that prayer demands, setting apart time, or not doing something else when we should be praying, then our hearts will never burn for God whom we should love above all things. It was St. Louis de Montfort who put it well, he said: “The more you give yourself, the more God will give himself to you.”

In our Gospel, this was Jesus’ promise, this was His request, His prayer for us: “that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us.” So, that the more we give, the more we receive, so that our prayer, though not perfect like His, will still have merit, will still be a conversation of love, because, at heart, that is what love is, that is what Jesus said love is, laying down our very lives, because it doesn’t have to be a physical laying down it can be spiritual, it can be giving of our lives to God.

And, how can we not, how can we not give our lives to God? For Jesus Himself, in our Gospel, calls us His gift, gladly accepting all of us, gladly suffering and dying for all of us, in spite of ourselves, in spite of our failings, in spite of our sins. And, His desire, His greatest desire, His only desire is that all of us get to join Him in Heaven, that all of us get to experience that great joy. In fact, He says: “I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me.”

Is it any wonder then that our sins hurt Him so much, that our conscious choosing to abandon Him causes Him so much pain and torment? That is why our prayer has to be as His, a constant pouring out, in our words, in our actions, in everything we do, so that we live what we pray, we believe what we pray, knowing what prayer truly is, a conversation not in words only, but a conversation of love, love sincerely speaking to love.

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