This morning as I was munching my breakfast and reading the news, I started to feel God’s Presence on the periphery of my awareness. I set aside my IPad, turned out the lights, lit a candle, and set my heart before Him. I have come to learn that if He initiates a time of communion, it is definitely worthwhile to set everything else aside.
It’s hard to describe these kinds of encounters. The poets have made some attempts:
Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival, 40
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.
~ William Wordsworth
Batter my heart, three-person’d God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
~ John Donne
Thomas Dubay, in his book The Fire Within describes these typed of encounters infused prayer. And quotes John of the Cross.
Infused contemplation…is a ‘loving awareness of God’…indeed, it becomes a “fire of loving wisdom. The prayer of which we are speaking can in no way be originated, intensified, or prolonged by anything we can do. It is divinely given in its entirety. This is the literal meaning of infused, a word stemming from the Latin infusers, infusium to our in, that which is poured in. John therefore writes of “a tranquil reception of this loving inflow…the touch of burning in the will…the touch of understanding in the intellect…an inflaming of love.
Dubay goes on to say because The Lord makes us aware of His presence in our deep centre through the effects that He produces there, we may say that in these effects of a new knowing-loving-delighting-yearning He Himself is flowing into us and thereby transforming us from glory to glory into His likeness.
A modern day mystic, Misty Edwards, expresses it this way