“In union with the Sacrifice of the Mass and your own personal prayer, may you know more deeply that you amaze the God of the universe.” Lovely thoughts to ponder courtesy Brooke Miller in her latest contribution on The Well’s blog.
“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed…” (Matthew 8:10). I read this phrase for probably the 250th time in my life. But it struck me. Jesus was amazed by this man. My gut prayer was, “Jesus, I want to amaze you!” Jesus’ response of amazement came after the centurion solider asked for the healing of his servant. The solider told Jesus He didn’t have to come to his home. Instead, the solider replied in utter faith in the word of God, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8).
There are many heart-pounding, joyous feast days in the life of the Catholic Church year. However, at every Mass, after we have fallen down in adoration before the Lord in the Eucharist, after we have exclaimed with Saint Thomas intimately touching the wounds of Christ, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28) in the silence of our hearts, we the faithful repeat the centurion’s cry, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” In union with the Church, Jesus is amazed by YOU; this is a FACT of your baptism!
Father Boniface Hicks, a Benedictine monk, uses the image of a human body to describe the intimate interconnectedness of the communal prayer of the Church and personal prayer. He says the body consists of the dimensions of skeleton and musculature. The liturgy of the Church, the celebration of the Mysteries, The Eucharist, and the Liturgy of Hours are like the skeleton; they provide the structure. Personal prayer, our relationship with God, and personal acts of love are more like the musculature; they put some flesh on the bones. We need both. If we don’t have our personal prayer life, we can end up with a sterile liturgical practice. If we don’t have the structure of the Church, we end up a fleshy blob without a structure to hold us upright. We need both. They are intimately connected. There is a distinction, but they are a complementary, a beautiful whole. This beautiful whole speaks God’s great love to you, speaks of God’s great love for you! I pray that we would all embrace the entirety of God’s love fully!
I was reflecting on all of this as I held my brand new nephew. I held him for hours against my chest. I watched his every move. I listened to every sound. His quiet presence captured my attention, and I was in awe. The world stopped. This child captivated me.
In union with the Sacrifice of the Mass and your own personal prayer, may you know more deeply that you amaze the God of the universe. You are His child. You capture His attention. He is in complete awe of you. Just as the helpless baby lay on my chest, so too, the Father desires you to rest in the depths of His Sacred Burning Heart — His Heart that burns with love for you! I pray that as we linger in the warm silence of His love as little children, we may know and live that love more deeply!