Do you ever have those songs that are constantly playing in your mind??? Like a broken record that just keeps going and going? Well recently I finally learned how to use and upload songs onto the iPod I have owned for 6 months (pathetic, it's true). I was so excited to remember certain songs I love and being able to listen to them at a click's notice. One such song is by an amazingly awesome Catholic musican named Matt Maher. The song is called "I love you Lord" and based off Psalm 18.
That has been a recent prayer that I just keep repeating to myself, "I love you Lord, I love you Lord, I love you Lord, You are my strength." Whether I am walking up to receive Holy Communion or am just in my personal prayer, for me that phrase perfectly sums it all up. Recently I have noticed that I see daily prayer as more of an obligatory formality instead of peaceful talking and listening between two dear friends. I am the type of person at times that feels like I have to "do all this stuff" to show Jesus how much I love Him. In recently seeing my spiritual director, we talked a lot about how prayer is simply conversation (and also listening) with Jesus...not just lip service. Traditional, formal prayers, like the Our Father and Hail Mary are good, benefical, and have a place in the spiritual life. However, if the only way you can "be" with Jesus is just rambling off a bunch of memorized words, that you are really missing the boat. Talk from the heart to Jesus; tell Him what is going on in life, joys, fears, concerns....bring it all to Him, and then you listen for that small, still voice Scripture talks about so often. The more I pray from my heart, "I love you Lord, I love you Lord, I love you Lord; you are my strength," is it like the quiet stirring that begins my own conversation with Jesus.
These particular pieces of Scripture have struck in my prayer time recently:
Peter says to Jesus, "Lord, you know everything...You know that I love you." How often do I feel like dear St. Peter here!!! Jesus, You KNOW it all...and amid my screw-ups and lack of faith much of the time, you see into the depths of my heart; a heart that burns brightly with love for You. In St. Luke's Gospel (7:36-50-The Pardon of the Sinful Woman), particularily in vs. 47 Jesus is speaking to Simon the Pharisee, saying "...she has shown great love..." Jesus is making a point to Simon that this sinful woman showed Him such heartfelt, pure love in washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. However, Simon the Pharisee did not even show Jesus the least bit of welcome or hospitality...but that woman showed such love in her actions that her expressions of love were what really mattered to Jesus.
Jesus, keep giving me the grace to come before You each day as I am in prayer...help to just "be" with you more...You lead our time together. Grow me in the gifts of the Holy Spirit; and to pray constantly in the Spirit as St. Paul challeneged the early Church. And when I forget or get a little slack, always know Jesus these words are on my lips and heart.........
"I love you Lord, I love you Lord, I love you Lord; You are my strength!"