“O Lord Jesus, you who came to show the compassionate love of your Father, make your people know this love with their hearts, minds, and souls. So often we feel lonely, unloved, and lost in this valley of tears. We desire to feel affection, tenderness, care, and compassion, but suffer from inner darkness, emptiness, and numbness. I pray tonight: Come, Lord Jesus, come. Do not just come to our understanding, but enter our hearts– our passions, emotions, and feelings– and reveal your presence to us in our inmost being. As long as you remain absent from that intimate core of our experience, we will keep clinging to people, things, or events to find some warmth, some sense of belonging. Only when you really come, really touch us, set us ablaze with your love, only then will we become free and let go of all false forms of belonging. Without that inner warmth, all our ascetical attempts remain trivial, and we might even get entangled in the complex network of our own good intentions.
O Lord, I pray that your children may come to feel your presence and be immersed in your deep, warm, affective love. And to me, O Lord, your stumbling friend, show your mercy. Amen.”
From A Cry for Mercy: Prayers from the Genesee by Henry Nouwen