When Jesus sleeps…..

When I went to adoration the other day, I found myself fighting sleep.  I had taken an antihistamine, and it might as well have been a sleeping pill.  There I was, all alone in the chapel with Jesus for two hours, and all I could do was struggle to stay awake.

I remembered that I had brought with me a little book titled, When Jesus Sleeps, by dear Archbishop Luis Martinez, who also wrote Secrets of the Interior Life which I chose as one of my three favorite books in a recent meme.

I have always been fascinated by the idea of watching Jesus sleep, and of wondering what He dreamed….just the incomparable beauty and wonder of the God of the Universe fast asleep so delights me.  The charm of God.  The sweet mystery of the God-Man.

But Archbishop Martinez expressed similar ideas in such rapt words:

Jesus was exceedingly beautiful when He spoke words of eternal life, accomplished wonders, looked with love, pardoned with mercy and caressed with tenderness. But I would like to have seen Him while He was sleeping because I could have contemplated Him to my heart’s content, without the fascination of His gaze distracting me, without the perfection of His beauty and the glory of His splendor dazzling my eyes and enrapturing my soul. The beauty of Jesus awake is too great for my smallness. Who could support it? I feel it more suited to me veiled by sleep, as the glory of the sun is more adapted to my eyes when I look at it through a translucent lens……

In the presence of that regal immobility and the divine silence of that most comely body, could one guess the interior glory? Through the delicate, celestial veil of human sleep, could penetrating and loving eyes like those of the Virgin discover the deep secret of the interior joy of Jesus? (pp 6,7,9)

And then, I was awake…my heart stirred by the touching portrait of Jesus, shared above only briefly, sketched by this holy Archbishop.

His little book shall be my companion this Lent. After sharing the magnificence of the Son of God at repose, the book continues on to encourage the soul in desolation by reminding her that Jesus has not departed. He is only sleeping. Gaze upon Him within your soul as He rests in you…as He slept on the boat amidst the stormy sea. He is sleeping? Yes, but not as we sleep.

Jesus says to the soul, “I sleep, but my Heart is awake.” (Song of Songs 5:2) He has not forgotten us. He can never forget. His Love never sleeps. In dryness and darkness and desolation, He is present with us, in all of His Glory.

He is only testing our faith, our trust, our love for Him, just as He tested that of the apostles on the lake. “Why are you so frightened, you who have so little faith?”

Let us not wake Jesus when He desires to sleep in our souls. Let us be brave and trust that He will awake at the perfect moment. Like St. Therese, let us permit Him to rest. She liked Jesus to sleep in “her boat,” because, as she said, so few allow Him any rest.


My sleeping Jesus,
You are breathtaking
In Your rest.
Your Peaceful Face
belies the Truth
That You are God
Of all Power and Might
Lord and King
Of The Universe.
But the resting place
You choose
Is my heart,
For more than
All else,
You are
Seeking love
That asks nothing save
Your Presence.


8 thoughts on “When Jesus sleeps…..

  1. The thought of Jesus sleeping beside me, in my own boat of life, my life boat, brings such a comforting thought. I always think that I have such faith…then the storm creeps in, the sky starts to blacken, and then anxiety grabs my chest and I fall apart.

    This beautiful meditation and prayer is a wonderful reminder that his loving heart is always awake, always there with us.

    • Hi Lisa! Wonderful to hear from you. I tagged you for a meme a couple of weeks ago, but don’t think you saw it. Alas, I forgot to leave you a note on your blog about it!
      I liked your play on words…”life boat.” It is truly our life boat when Jesus is with us. Isn’t it hard to let Him sleep and not become frantic when things go wrong? I know just what you mean. But we can keep trying, and hopefully our trust will ever increase. How wonderful that He loves us…whether we let Him sleep, or not : ) God bless!

  2. Patricia,
    This is so beautiful and quite powerful. What a wonderful thought for meditation and contemplation~Jesus asleep. St Therese was so right, so few let Him sleep and rest. May our souls be a place of calm rest for Our Savior whose Sacred Heart never sleeps.
    Thank you for sharing this and God bless.

    • Hi Karinann,
      Thank you so much for your reflections. I agree..how wonderful to contemplate Jesus asleep. How lovely that He slept…like us. Isn’t He endlessly fascinating!
      I imagine Jesus would be delighted to find souls which trusted enough to let Him sleep…not leaving Him alone, but drawing close in quiet to contemplate His Divine Beauty. Archbishop Martinez quotes Therese often, so maybe her little boat story inspired his own meditation on our sleeping Jesus : )
      Hope your Lent is going well….at least we still have plenty of time to work on it!
      Love and prayers,

  3. Hi Patricia,
    That is a beautiful post about Jesus. It probably would be too overwhelming to know you were speaking face to face with Our Lord. I should pray that my soul is more of a calm and peaceful place for Jesus. Have a Blessed Lenten Season!

    • Hi Noreen…so happy to “see” you : ) Just think, one day we will see Him face to face! What will we do? I often hope that my guardian angel will support me when that time comes! Can you imagine the eyes of Jesus? So much love and tenderness must radiate from those eyes of God….
      Yes, I’m working on the calm soul too. I haven’t been very calm this week. I need to work on that this Lent….so glad it’s early yet : )
      You have a most Blessed Lenten Season too!


  4. Pingback: Advent is coming! | WORD of the Vine

    • I didn’t know that Archbishop Martinez had been declared venerable. How wonderful! He certainly seems a saintly soul to me. I have three of his books. Thank you for sharing about the Advent preparation using his writings. I will definitely try to participate. I am planning to quote from “Secrets of the Interior Life” in an upcoming post. That book is my constant companion. So happy you commented. God bless you!

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