Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just talk to him

I read something that was a great encouragement to me, so I wanted to share it with you. It's written (or translated into) the English of an earlier time, so I'm going to update it slightly to read more familiarly, so the impact isn't diluted by a (to our ears) awkward phrasing. It's from How to Converse with God by St. Alphonsus Liguori.
Act toward God as you act on occasion toward those who love you and whom you love.

God delights that you would relate to him confidently. Speak with him of your business, your plans, you griefs, your fears — of all that concerns you. Above all, do so (as I have said) with confidence, with an open heart. For God does not as inclined to speak to the soul that does not speak to him since, if unused to conversing with him, we would be unlikely to understand his voice when he spoke to us.

God will have himself esteemed the Lord of surpassing power and terribleness when we despise his grace, but on the contrary he will come to us as the most affectionate friend when we love him; and to this end he would have us often speak with him familiarly and without restraint.

Reading this stirs up the hunger in my heart. I want to be right next to the heart of God, sitting next to Jesus on a bench murmuring to him, having him answer, taking time for companionable silences, having lots of time stretch ahead to just speak from my heart and be delighted to hear him answer. Apparently he wants this, too. Is it only my reluctance, my distractions, my self-imposed criteria, my unconfesssed sins that keep this from happening? It seems so.

Well, St. Alphonsus gives a gentle and easy way. Just talk to God. Tell him what's going on, even if I'm sure he knows it already. Let him know when something's hard for me. Tell him the problem even before I know the solution I want him to help me with. Tell him I'm confused, I'm resentful, I feel sucked dry, I'm procrastinating and I don't know why. Ask for help. Tell him I don't feel like I even want his help. Just talk to him.


Therese Z said...

Good advice. And I have to slow up, or slow down, whichever direction is more effective.



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