EXERCISE 11: God’s Intimate Love
You have now been exposed to the major themes of spiritual life: stillness and mindfulness, paying attention to our interior life, including our emotions, and developing a prayerful routine. Now we go deeper:
- Centre yourself in stillness.
- When you are quiet and relaxed, read Psalm 139 from any version of the Bible you might have. (If you don’t have one handy, click here for an on-line version) several times very slowly.
- Read through it a first time, as if it were a love-letter from God to you.
- As you read it the first time, see if any word or phrase strikes you, catches your attention. Consider this as a sign that you are supposed to reflect on this idea.
- Read through a second time, this time allowing yourself to think about that phrase in a little more depth.
- What do you think that phrase has to say to you? What might God be trying to say to you through that phrase?
- Now read the passage a third time, this time offering a response – a prayer, a word of thanksgiving – related to what you have learned from this phrase.
- Spend a few minutes in silence savouring the feelings that emerge from this experience. Reflect, if you can, on your experience of the previous Exercise: can you experience God’s unconditional love while at the same time holding yourself perfectly open to God – and to yourself?
(By the way, this approach to meditation where you read a passage slowly several times to savour it is called “Lectio Divina,” or “divine reading.” It is a very ancient Benedictine method of praying.)
As usual, record your experience in your journal.