Translated from the original by Ana Giménez.
I will suggest some ways of praying to all us who are still confined at home due to coronavirus pandemic. They are simple ways of praying.
I wish many of those who don´t have the habit, were able to get it taking the advantage of the situation we are going through. There is no need of previous requirements. The only one is the wish to have some time for you and for God. We are talking about Christian prayer which follows the steps inherited by Saint Teresa of Jesus in her books.
It is a follow-up of what was said in a previous post, Letter from uncle Nicasio to his nieces and nephews in times of covid-19
You can practise one of them, or all of them one after the other, depending on the time you want to devote and the wish to pray that may awake in your heart.
1.–We are going to be within ourselves and God for a while. Come within with no fear and look for the deepest, your conscience. Pay attention briefly to how you are, your recent fears, your moments of joy, your virtues and flaws. Try to discover first the best you have, the gifts you have been given. Don´t put yourself down. You are a son/daughter of God, you have Him within, He is in the most intimate part of you.
To pray is to keep a relationship with someone to whom you can´t now hug physically, Jesus Christ. Picture in your mind that you are with Him, that He is close to you, very deep inside you. We are not to look for God outside, we are wearing Him. He is always by your side.
It is as if we had two little boxes inside us. Imagine they are at the bottom of the sea. God always lives in one of them, no matter what you have done. It is always open waiting for us. It is in the other box where we are, we usually have it closed, we are afraid to open it. It is your conscience. Inside the box the best of you is locked up, this is a lot as you are vivid image of Jesus Christ, and our miseries are mixed up with what has previously been said.
Become aware of the fact that Jesus Christ is by your side, awaiting, because the God of Jesus is very respectful with freedom. He is waiting to be allowed to be close to you.
If you can´t imagine Jesus with or without an image, look for a religious card of the Virgin Mary or of Jesus Christ which is to your liking, of your interest. Look at it and let yourself to be looked. As much as you wish to pray and be in His company, the better.
If you enjoy music, look for one you like which helps you enter calmly within. For example, Love`s Greeting by Edgar. Listen carefully to it, through it, God Himself is sending you greetings of love.
If you don´t like classical music choose another kind of music which may help you be in silence.
Once you are a bit calm and you have realised to be with God, pray the Lord´s prayer, with all your heart, relishing the words.
You can finish up letting yourself to be looked and praying for the people who are suffering COVID, or have died, for the healthcare personnel who are looking after us, etc.
2.– If you want, you can keep on praying with a deeper and simple prayer. You are still within, diving in your interior where God lives; you recollect within. I´ll explain.
It is as if you were a snail or a hedgehog to which, once you touch them,
they curl up or draw into their shell. We have a fertile imagination which never stops working nor even while sleeping. Ask your mind kindly, to live you alone for a moment.
Recollect your thoughts and go directly to this part of your soul where your will lives. Once there, tell your will that you are determined to spend a while with Jesus Christ, that you want to love Him and be loved by Him. He, who has always been waiting for you and wants to communicate with you, will join you. Once we decide to love someone, will opens itself as love is born from will. It´s just there where a love story starts. He, who is in the little box next to yours, has the door always open and has always been waiting for you. He loves you as much as the Father of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), He sees you coming from far, and comes to meet you and gives you lots of hugs.
If you experience Him very close to you, talk to Him, tell Him what is happening to us, let yourself be hugged, tell Him your intimate things. It will be perhaps a marvellous meeting, unknown, as up to now we could only conceive meetings face to face with other people; we hadn´t discovered that other kind of meetings with people-distant physically- can take place.
Everything which helps you to love God, to your people at home, and to others, is good at present. “And so do that which best stirs you to love” (The Interior Castle 4.1.7)
Stay there all the time your thoughts leave you alone. If you get distracted tell them again, without telling them off, that you want to be alone for a while. They may obey you. It´s all about getting used to. At the beginning, you may need to repeat that several times. If you don´t reach to the point of recollecting thoughts and imagination, don´t worry, because the fundamental part is to decide to love Him and allow Him to love you. And one reaches to that from the decision of the will.
3.– Still a better proposal. I believe that Jesus Christ came to this world to teach us to live loving, to be happy even in the saddest moments.
It is not possible to learn from Jesus if we don´t know Him. Knowledge and love go together. We know those we love and love those we know.
Download an app. called “ePrex Liturgía de las Horas” (In English: Pray As You Go, Laudate app, iBreviary app, or similar.) And look for (Biblical) Readings. In the app. you can find the Church´s prayers for the day we are at. Click-usually at the end of the application-on The daily Word of God proposed by Catholic Church. Read the Gospel, and if you want the three readings, and think what relation may they have with your daily life. You are meditating and learning. Look for the application, keep it with you and put it into practice. That way, in a few months, you will have learnt from Jesus Christ a new way of living, different, the way the world doesn´t teach.
I have chosen the text of Mount Tabor, because I think that what it is happening to us is so extraordinary, that we need to rest in God and recover inner strength. Read it slowly, once or twice the Holy Spirit will show you the readings suitable for you. They will be the ones you are moved by. Stop reading and think about them. Try to lead to life what you have just read, try to live it daily. Enter into the text, as if you were there. If you get used to practise that frequently, with the readings proposed by Church, the Words of God will soon talk to you and will nourish you for the whole day.
Reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 9: 2-10
“Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain to be alone with him. His appearance was changed in front of them, and his clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone[a] on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them, accompanied by Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter told Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good that we’re here! Let’s set up three shelters one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Peter didn’t know how to respond, because they were terrified. Then a cloud appeared and overshadowed them. A voice came out of the cloud and said, “This is my Son, whom I love. Keep on listening to him!”
Suddenly, as they looked around, they saw no one with them but Jesus alone.” “On their way down the mountain, Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.“ (Matthew 17:9)
That was etched into their minds, and would talk about the meaning of “been raised from the dead.”
The Gospel of the Lord
4.– A present to finish up. There is another way to pray which is a great gift. God grants it when He wants and to the ones He wants. It consists in knowing that you are loved as you are. Above all our miseries, God loves us, trusts us, forgives and forgets. If you have put much love in your prayer and plenty of desire to meet Him, and you have asked Him to be granted with that favour, it is possible that you may experience this infinite affection, which goes beyond any love, as it is unconditional. What usually happens is that this experience may happen after a while of having been meditating, although it may happen at any time, even when you are not praying. You won´t get it with effort, is a free gift. The text of the Mount Tabor may help you or the one chosen by Church today.
In conclusion: Practise any kind of prayer and as we have now time, devote some time every day. I am very close to you all in these hard times, as Saint Teresa used to say.