Five minutes with Jesus….

Life can get so busy and so complicated that sometimes all the stress and confusion can overflow into our prayer life.  That’s been me lately.  And because I am also in that desert place, where prayer is dry and difficult, I have struggled trying to “pray well.”

Then I heard Father Larry Richards.  I was driving to my Secular Carmelite meeting Sunday afternoon, and Father Larry was on the Catholic radio re-broadcast of EWTN’s Life on the Rock.  He was talking about his new book, Surrender, and began to share what he tells people who say that they don’t have time to pray.

First of all he said that everyone has at least five minutes a day to spend with Jesus.    But many of the people Father ministers to are new to prayer, and five minutes seems like a long time to be alone with God.

So Father suggests spending those precious minutes in the following way:

Spend one minute telling Jesus that you are sorry for your sins, and asking Him to forgive you.
Spend the second minute telling Him that you surrender your life to Him
And spend the last three minutes asking Jesus to just hold you. Imagine yourself leaning against His chest, like St. John at the Last Supper, and listening to His Heart beating.

That’s it.  Just five quiet minutes with Jesus.

After my meeting, I went to evening Mass, and during my thanksgiving after Holy Communion, I spent the time just like Father Larry suggested….and it was so lovely and peaceful.

Jesus reminded me of what I have known about prayer in better days…that it doesn’t have to be perfect. That it shouldn’t be a struggle. That He understands when we are tired, have a bad day, are in pain, etc. We don’t have to be formal or follow methods to pray. When God doesn’t send consolations, we should remain at peace. It doesn’t mean that He is displeased with us.

Our Father is always waiting for us, longing for us to run to Him, no matter what we may have done.  He is so eager to forgive.  And Jesus, yes, He longs to hold us in His arms…hold us tight.  Who loves us more than the One Who died to save us?  Who is more loving and consumed with affection for us than Jesus?  St. John knew this, and did not hesitate to rest on Our Lord….and no doubt was a great comfort to Jesus through this act of love.

Some years ago, I stopped by an empty church to visit Jesus.  But instead of going up near the tabernacle as I usually did, I knelt in the back.  I had not been on my best behavior that day, and felt unworthy of drawing nearer.  Then into my mind flashed the scene of myself as a little girl, and she was running up the aisle as fast as she could to Jesus, Who scooped her up in His arms and hugged and kissed her.

And suddenly I got up and walked quickly to kneel before my Savior and smile at Him and ask His forgiveness and lose myself in His welcoming embrace.

Prayer is really so simple.  St. John knew.  Father Larry knows.

And now, I remember too.

Jesus, hold me, hold me close……forever.

_____________________________________________________

From Descending Fire, The Journal of a Soul Aflame:
by Father Jean Petit

I desire, Holy Trinity, that each act of my life might be stamped with the seal of heroism and martyrdom, that nothing may be lost in each of the moments given to me through your generosity……

Alas!  Reality is different.  My times of emptiness are numerous, at least in appearance, when I hardly am permitted to think about You, when my physical capacity is inadequate for intellectual learning, when it seems that I have done nothing.  I have done nothing, and so I must be resigned to wait for better days.

Better days?  But these empty days are the best.  They are really empty only in appearance.   That is when You force me to put my finger on the reality of what I am and so make me experience my complete powerlessness.  Happy days are those empty days, in which You fill me with Yourself, in which You teach me secretly, consume me, and strengthen me; in which You allow Your light, Your love and Your power to pierce my soul….

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19 thoughts on “Five minutes with Jesus….

  1. Patricia,
    I can relate to a lot of what you said~ the busyness, the dryness. Fr. Larry’s advice for 5 minutes with Jesus is wonderful; I will remember to pray that way the next time I feel to busy, tired or dry to pray. I like Fr. Jean’s prayer as well. Thomas Merton writes about being emptied in many of his writings, and like Fr. Jean tells us how it is only when we are emptied (of ourselves, the world) that we can be filled by and with God.
    Thank you for this beautiful reflection on the importance of prayer. I love the picture 🙂
    God bless.

    • Karinann, I thought you’d like that picture. 🙂 You and I seem to have a fondness for that image of Jesus looking into and/or touching faces. In his talk, Father Larry was really stressing the importance of intimacy with Jesus…hence the “holding you” part. I think it’s a great way to stop and just re-connect with God throughout the day.

      Ah yes, emptying oneself….how difficult! John of the Cross says that it doesn’t matter if a bird is tied down by a slender thread, or by a heavy chain, it still can’t fly away…..

      Blessings to you Karinann.

  2. Patricia…I have been eyeing up his book, but have enough to read for now : ) But I read something similar…maybe in one of the reviews. I struggle, as you do, to stay focused. Thank the Lord for scripture and good spiritual reading that keeps me somewhat focused.

    I love the image of running to Jesus as a little girl…just like our St. Therese.

    Have a blessed day.

    • Theresa, when I first met you, we had both pitched our tents in the desert, and now more than a year later, we are still there 🙂 I have resigned myself that I will probably be here for the rest of my life. But I am always so comforted by St. John of the Cross, and his emphasis on the nakedness of faith. We are so blessed to have such rich sources for spiritual reading, and the example of our Carmelite Saints. I do find that using the image of the child does allow me to climb up on Jesus’s lap, and snuggle close to Him…often just sleeping there on His Heart. It’s very peaceful.

      Hope it has stopped raining there, and that the menu is going well. I’ll be over for the lime chicken fajitas! 🙂

      Love and prayers,
      Patricia

      • I keep telling myself that I chose that path when I entered Carmel…Carmel IS the desert. Many of our Carmelite Saints spent many many years there. It took me a long time to find contentment there, but I realize now we are blessed to be called to the desert of Carmel.

        I will let you know how the fajitas turn out LOL!

        I am getting Fr. Larry Richards book *Be a Man* for my hubby for Father’s Day : )

  3. Patricia…This too has been my struggle of late.God has been helping me understand that I must let go of my expectations of prayer…and that it can even be a trial He permits which draws down many graces..
    I love your image of running to Him as a little girl…completely unafraid and trusting in His love.

    Thanks for reminding me that prayer is simple. I love this 5 minutes with Jesus….
    I might be able to remember it..: )
    Love you +

    • Caroline, I know what you mean about “I might be able to remember it…” Yes. Give me something simple right now : ) Like you alluded to, difficulty in prayer is very often a sign of growth…that God is taking over. Sometimes He has to wrest the control away from us, doesn’t He? That’s what I liked about the excerpt from Father Petit’s book…that the empty days when nothing seemed to be getting done were really the best days, when God works in secret.

      I love the little girl image too. Remember Therese and God’s lap in Heaven? And how we are going to climb up there too? 🙂 Well, no harm in practicing while still here on earth. I’ve quoted this before, but love it so….Jesus told St. Faustina to tell aching mankind to snuggle close to His Merciful Heart. His tenderness and gentleness are so much greater than we dare to believe. Snuggle today, dear Caroline. xoxo

      Love you,
      Patricia

  4. If it’s any consolation, you have plenty of company in the desert, Patricia 🙂 No oases in sight here lately…lol.

    My husband loves Fr. Larry Richards!

    God bless!

    • Mary, thanks for your persistence…at least FB works! I don’t know why my comment box bans you. I’m sorry : (
      Yes, that desert is definitely crowded! But, it’s good to have company on the journey.
      My husband doesn’t know who Father Larry is. Maybe I’ll get him Father’s book on being a man.
      I hope the comment box behaves again soon. But…at least this way I get to see the picture of the Sacred Heart when you poast : )

      Love,
      Patricia

  5. Thank you for sharing this Patricia. I had that book in my wishlist on Amazon. I absolutely love this manner of praying. The visual of St. John and your own inspired story of the little girl running up into the arms of her beloved Lord will help me. I sometimes struggle with the Embrace. As you relayed here, there is no reason for the struggle. God bless you, Dear Patricia!

    • Colleen, too bad we don’t live next door to each other…we could share 🙂 Amazon delivered at my house today…33 Days to Morni,g Glory and My Brother, the Pope.
      Oh, I’m so glad you think this post will help you. The Lord placed the little girl idea in my heart some years ago. I use this image often in prayer. It is often easier to come to His embrace as a child, because a child can take liberties which an adult would not. My little girl is always dressed in her Sunday best, with ribbons in her hair, and she climbs all over Jesus and hugs and kisses Him and then snuggles close to His Heart to close her eyes and fall asleep.

      Therese is always echoing in my heart, as I have read her words so many times. She saw herself as a little child, and related to God this way. We are all different, but this works well for me most of the time. And..it is so peaceful, safe in the arms of Jesus.

      I hope you are okay. I’ve missed you! May God continue to give you strength with all of these crosses. He loves you so very much!

      Love and hugs,
      Patricia

      • Patricia,
        I was worried about you when I saw that turtle dove post. But, that is an old one, right? For some reason I had touch of sadness this morning too. It passed though. When I read that you felt you were broken inside my thought was that it is because God’s love is transforming you, giving you a tender heart, that you are at times sad. You have such a generous, kind and loving heart. It seems to follow that you would be sensitive too. I am actually doing well lately, and my patents are doing better too. Jesus loves you so much! Love, Colleen

        • Colleen, thank you so much for worrying about me. You are so kind. Yes, it was a post from last year, although it is still relevant, because I have lived in spiritual dryness for many years now. It’s only sad once in awhile. Most of the time, I am quite at peace. As you probably know, it’s not unusual to encounter this dry state, void of all consolation, on the spiritual journey. It can be intermittent or can even go on for decades. St. Teresa of Avila as well as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta both experienced decades of what felt like the absence of God. In fact, for Blessed Teresa, it began shortly after she founded the Missionaries of Charity and continued until shortly before her death…about 50 years. St. John of the Cross writes a great deal about this state in The Ascent of Mt. Carmel and The Dark Night of the Soul.

          I am so happy that your parents are both doing better. That’s wonderful news. I did have a chance to read your newest posts, but not yet to comment. I have been out of town…a bridal shower weekend for our soon to be daughter-in-law. It was fun 🙂

          Thank you again for all of your pro-life work. I am so grateful that you post on that and share what goes on. God bless you for going out there with those girls, Colleen. Jesus loves you too…oh so very much!

          Love,
          Patricia xoxo

  6. I love Fr. Larry Richards! This post is great-what wonderful advice to spend just five minutes each day! Thanks for this post Patricia!

    • Isn’t he great? He’s so simple, but yet deep. And, he is just so delightful to listen to. I think he has podcasts, so I’m going to look into those. I love his 5 minute “connect” with Jesus too. It’s so easy to do when we are in the midst of a crazy day, and you could probably do it without anyone really noticing. Also, it’s good to have something like this when prayer just seems impossible, for whatever reason.

      Congratulations on the six new priests in your diocese. I love ordination time! We will have three ordained this Saturday. God has been very good to our diocese with vocations over the past 6 or 7 years. One year there were 5 ordained, and that hadn’t happened in about 30 years. The bishop said, “O happy day!” Amen!

      Love and hugs,
      Patricia

  7. I hope it’s okay that I use the image at the top. I like it a lot, and it’s exactly what I’m looking for. I’ll be sure to post a link back to this page. Thanks.

    • Hi Abigael. Thank you so much for commenting. Of course you may use the image on this post….or even the header, if that is what you were referring to. I’m glad that you liked them. I always use images from the public domain, so they are available to everyone. God bless you, and I hope you visit here again.

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