It’s the prophet’s initial theophany, their initial parting of the veil that seems to become the nature of how they henceforth see reality.
Life is difficult, Jeremiah. Are you going to quit at the first wave of opposition?…. Are you going to live cautiously or courageously? I [God] called you to live at your best, to pursue righteousness, to sustain a drive toward excellence.
How wonderful! To have a tremendous religious experience, a tremendous experience of illumination and then, while you are under the massive pressure of this fresh orientation, to get a job analysis.… Isaiah was a prophet already. And his voice said to God, “I’ll go. I’ll take the message.”
Not all prophets do as they are told. Not at first, anyway. When the call comes, most of them turn left and then right: “Who, me?” they murmur. If the call is a true one, the voice of the Holy Spirit will roar: “Yes, you!”
Those who respond to the call and agree to carry and love what God loves—which is both the good and the bad—and to pay the price for its reconciliation within themselves, these are the followers of Jesus Christ.
We must listen, wait, and pray for our charism and call. Most of us are really only good at one or two things. Meditation should lead to a clarity about who we are and, maybe even more, who we are not.
“Here I Am” Prayer
“Here I am, Lord. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). Such was Isaiah’s response to God’s call. Today, try this simple “Here I Am” prayer from spiritual director and writer Teresa Blythe as a way to become available to God:
- Resolve to be in prayer for at least five minutes. Do not answer the phone or allow yourself to be distracted from your goal.
- Be seated and say to yourself, “Here I am seated, doing nothing. I will do nothing for five minutes” (or longer, depending on the time you set for yourself).
- Begin noticing your own bodily presence—how your body feels next to the chair; how your feet feel against the floor. Relax your body. Notice what you feel inside.
- Now notice the presence of all that is around you. Say to yourself, “Here I am in the presence of the room (garden, chapel, wherever you are).” Be aware of the furniture, walls, and any pets or people in the room. Just be present and silent in your environment. Relax even more.
- Now say to yourself, “Here I am in the presence of God.” Repeat silently to God, “Here I am.” Bask in the presence of the Holy One until your time goal has been reached.
Teresa A. Blythe, 50 Ways to Pray: Practices from Many Traditions and Times (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2006), 31–32.
Image credit: A path from one week to the next—Jenna Keiper, Untitled Bosque, Benjamin Yazza, Untitled 10, and Untitled 8. Used with permission. Click here to enlarge image.
Just as a bird notices an impulse and takes flight, so we also hear and respond.
Story from Our Community:
I am an 85-year-old widow living alone. Your daily meditations are such a help to me, teaching me to live on the deeper level we all share. My life is no longer a struggle to get through each day. Your morning readings connect me with the holiness of just being present. —Joyce K.