We had our 8 day silent retreat the beginning of January and God spoke so clearly and directly to my heart. It was an incredible opportunity to give God everything for 8 days of silence and solitude. Who are you going to talk to but God?
We used the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, following the life of Jesus and placing ourselves by His side at some of the most important moments of His life, ministry and passion.
One of my first meditations was on the birth of Jesus. As I imagined Mary holding her newborn son singing lullabies softly in his ear as Joseph praised God in Heaven, I placed myself silently beside them. I can’t help but join in Mary’s lullaby. She hears me and lets me hold her son, the Son of God and Son of Man. How sweet is is to hold him, to console his tears. Jesus, do I hold you this gently always? Do I accept you so tenderly and sweetly sing in your ears as I do in this moment?
It was hard to face the reality that I don’t. There are times when I don’t hold Jesus so gently; I leave Him alone. I thought of this beautiful child in my arms and the pain of His crucifixion struck me. How can this baby, so vulnerable and dependent, be the Son of God sent to redeem the world? How can this child suffer death on a cross for my sins?
This intimate holding of Jesus continued through the rest of my meditations and became especially apparent again during my meditations on His passion and death.
As I sat in the upper room with Him at the last supper, as I let Him wash my feet and serve me, I felt that I only wanted to console Him. It is God’s will that He is crucified, He knows it and I do too. I must accept that I cannot change this, I do not want Jesus to do anything besides God’s will no matter how my heart hurts to see Him go. How can I hold you so gently when you are gone?
As I followed with the crowd from the Pharisees to Pilot, I knew I could not turn away, I could not hide my face. I felt as if my love for Him would give Him strength to stand after His scourging and after painfully falling over and over and over again on His way to Calvary. Jesus, won’t you let me hold you? Won’t you let me console you as I would a child?
I sit at the foot of His cross and I sing to Him that same lullaby. Jesus, do not be afraid, all will be well soon. Take care and rest your head, God will raise you up.
From this child in a stable to our Savior on a cross, I walked by His side, learning from Him humble receiving, expectant faith and bold confidence. I feel now that Jesus has built a home to rest in my heart. He sits out back in a beautiful garden beside a well. I go to this well and draw from it eternal life and restoration. Jesus is there and He consoles me, He holds me and all is well. He sings His lullaby to me and we are at peace.