Having Jesus as a friend
Happy New Year!
It’s a new year and lots of people make resolutions to start over, to start fresh in whatever way they need to. Something that I’m thinking about this year was sparked by an article written by Brother Jim Woodrum, SSJE, in which he writes about having Jesus as a friend. Friends are people we know, we talk to, and we keep close to us. If Jesus is a friend (or if we want him to be), he needs to be someone we talk with more often than just on Sundays in church.
Brother Woodrum suggests starting and ending our day talking with Jesus. “In the morning, take a few minutes and pray forward through your day. Think through the day ahead: the work you will do, the people you will encounter, the dangers and uncertainties you face, the possibilities for joy and acts of kindness. Consider what might draw you from the love of God and neighbor, the opportunities you will have to know and serve God. Remember those closest to you and all for whom you have agreed to pray, ask God’s blessings, guidance, and strength in all that lies before you. Then, gather up these thoughts and reflections with the words of the Lord’s Prayer.*”
At the end of the day comes another opportunity for prayer: "to help see how many moments throughout your day were, indeed, an act of communion with God. Before going to bed, pray back-wards through your day. Become aware of God’s presence and ask God to bring clarity to the end of your day. Review the day with gratitude, both what went well and where you might have come up short. Pay attention to the small things. God is in the details. Choose one feature from the day and pray from it. Look at it. Pray about it. Allow the prayer to arise spontaneously from your heart. Then, look forward to tomorrow. Do all this with a posture of gratitude knowing that all of life is a gift of God, and then close with the Lord’s Prayer.”
Jesus meets us in the sacrament of our daily lives. Talk with him and look for him right beside you.
* A footnote: Many already are praying the Lord’s Prayer with their children every day. But, if you’re not, start doing it now.