~ My Testimony to our Lord ~
Preface: The following prayer has the flavor of two intimate friends sharing special memories of how they met. It was inspired upon pondering Fray John of the Cross' "The Spiritual Canticle" written in the late 1500s.
My Beloved Lord, my All,
As a little child I heard the haunting melodies,
Created by Your lovers who lived long before me.
Latin words in angelic chants,
Reverberating in houses of worship and in my heart.
In those days the priests would sing the prayers.
We would sing in response. Serene worship!
In those days I first learned of Your suffering,
And my child heart was pierced, the cadence of worship entered.
Wounds became doors to Your mourning and Your rejoicing.
I do not know when I first loved You. Does it matter ?
But I do know when You pierced my child heart.
Remember how I did childlike penance when I hurt You?
Not because I felt guilty, but because I hurt.
But when I prayed, I saw and felt You outside, beyond me.
I read Your holy words of love.
"The Kingdom of heaven is within you," You told me.
"If you love Me, I will live in you and you in Me."
O the wounds of my heart opened more.
O I did love You! How I wanted You in me!
When I was about as old as You were on earth,
When You were spending time in the temple,
I, too, ventured into Your temple of creation, walking all night,
Listening to the chants of many creatures,
Waiting for the resurrection of dawn to melt away the dark.
Your tracks were everywhere!
Flowers, aromas, streams, whispers of wind in the trees.
I asked others about You, and where You really lived.
I read old books that spoke of mystical union
And of spiritual marriage.
You call Yourself the Bridegroom of Your Church,
But boys don't consider themselves as brides.
You are called Lord, but I had no experience with lords.
You are the Son of a Father.
That I knew a lot about, the love of parents for a son.
The gaping wound of my heart called to you.
Into that young heart came uninvited things.
Cruel words from other children, painful knowledge of the poor.
The suffering of the saints I read about, past and present.
The feeling of playing "hide and seek" with You.
My heart swelled with tantalizing wonders, too.
I could feel the songs and touch of angels, huge ones.
In the darkness of night forests and bright moons,
Remember how I gave up the hide and seek game
And yelled, sometimes with tears, "Come out where ever You are!"
And one night You came out from everywhere!
You heard this child who didn't know about the beatific vision,
Who didn't know about the "sinner's prayer" or conversion,
Who didn't know about the "dark night of the soul"
Or about the promise of eternal life by "accepting" You.
But I knew the love of a human family and You.
I knew the symphonic music and piercing of Your love.
The wounds and longing of my child heart
Were deepened by Your gentle, powerful touch.
They became the doors through which flowed pure love.
My heart swelled with love, like new wine in new skins.
Was I feeling my love for You more, or Your love in me?
I could not tell the difference in that whirling dance of love.
As I grew up, I learned my heart wounds were still bleeding.
But it was not my blood anymore. It was Yours!
You were in me! Your Heart is so pure and strong!
"Unless you drink My blood and eat My flesh,
You will not have life."
My heart bleeds Your blood.
My prayers are clothed with Your flesh.
I kept returning to the forest temples.
I longed to live among Your oceans, mountains and rivers.
"One thing I ask, Lord, to live in Your house
All the days of my life to gaze at Your beauty
And find answers in Your temple."
You are indeed my All, my Beloved, my Lord.
In eternal communion, I in You, You in me.
I don't know my boundaries anymore, or Yours.
I don't know where I end and You begin.
So we are wedded in mystical union, sealed by love,
I love You more and more each day,
Days without end! Thank you, my Beloved!
John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
Spiritual Resource Services
Weekly Reflections © August 4, 2001
"God's Word" is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission.
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