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Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Contemplative Prayer
Holy Spirit Interactive: Mother Nadine: Contemplative Prayer: The Sacrament of God's Presence

The Sacrament of God's Presence

by Mother Nadine

There comes moments in our lives when those experiences which have hurt us or have twisted us somehow, must also be brought to awareness and healed so that our prayer life may deepen and we become more conscious of God's presence. Our unhealed memories, our unhealed emotions, are brought into this awareness dimension. This will definitely deepen our prayer life and our union with God, because we will be more conscious of God's presence. Simply put, this process is called the healing of memories. Some call it the healing of our inner being.

Memory is actually a sacrament of God's presence. Most of you have heard that before. Memory is practicing the presence of God, the sacrament of the present moment. Our memory serves to retain the wounds of the past that are imperfectly healed. But our memory also carries, deep within it, the effects of God's actions in our lives, those moments in our lives that, in a special way, make up my personal salvation history. Memory is very important. When we allow ourselves to enter, once again, into those deep recesses of our being where the awareness of God's action is still a living thing, we put our present experience into perspective. We are putting it right into God. Deeper than this, the memory, this action of God, is living in us as a sacrament of His presence. Because of that, we, through the memory - through the union - are entering into the knowledge of where we come from. Our past, in other words, actually becomes like a chalice containing our awareness of God. Isn't that beautiful? It is so important that we get in touch with this.

There is a beautiful Psalm - Psalm 63 - in which the psalmist is saying, "O God, You are my God! For You my soul thirsts. For You I long. For You I pine. " Then the psalmist says, "Upon my bed I remember you." He remembers. When we remember, when that memory clicks in, it brings us right into the presence of this beautiful God. He says, "I remember You in the watches of the night. I dwell in You." The psalmist knew that. Through memory he is coming right into God's presence. "Yes, You are my help. In the shadow of Your wings, I shout for joy." He was coming right into the presence of the Spirit - right into the presence of God. The remembering of God really brings us to songs of joy, tremendous joy. We also find ourselves protected in this vast expanse of His overshadowing wings. That is what contemplation is all about - coming into that phenomenal presence of God. In this sense, our memory is our access to awareness of the presence of God. We become aware of Him who has made us and saved us. We become aware of Him for whom there is no time and who, at this very moment, is holding us in existence and giving us His life. Remember: He is the God who was, who is and who is to come. He is always present. So when are brought, through memory, into His presence, we enter the tremendous vastness of the memory of ourselves. Read about that in Revelation 1:4.

When we remember what God has done we become aware of the effects of His saving act and how it still exists in us by the mystery of His presence. There will always be mystery. Through what God has done, we can speak to Him who is present. And when we speak to Him about what He has done, we are actually in His presence. We know, as Saint Paul said, that we shall see Him as He is. Even when we see Him face-to-face it will still be present, won't it? Even though we can remember things, which happened previously, and we can remember the whole bridge which we took to get to that memory - even though we remember everything - it will always be in the present moment. We will recognize God. We will recognize that He is a God who has always been with us. He has always been with us. It is extremely important to remember this. So many times in inner healing, we find ourselves asking God, "Where were You? Where were You?" That question causes a lot of pain. Through our inner healing we are going to come into the awareness that He is always present as He heals our memories. He was there then and He is here now.

Now, Jesus gave a command at the Last Supper and we hear it all the time when we go to Mass. It is in connection with the Eucharist but it also applies to the memory. Remember Jesus said, "Do this in memory of Me." "Do this in memory of Me." You may want to ponder that. He is calling us into His tremendous presence, past, future and right now. "Do this in memory of Me." He will take us into His presence and into His whole life. In other words, "Remember Me." "Remember Me, so that you will always be in union with Me and you will always be aware of My presence within you."


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