Spiritual master and founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius Loyola offers some profound advice on how to begin prayer. He writes,
“A step or two before the place where I am to contemplate or meditate, I will stand for the space of an Our Father and, with my consciousness raised on high, consider how the Lord my God looks upon me. Then I will make an act of reverence or humility” (Spiritual Exercises, #75).
St. Ignatius instructs us to “consider how the Lord my God looks upon me.” This reminds us that we should always pause before we pray and medtiate on that simple fact. God is already there waiting for us, and beholding us; he is already there in the room looking at us.
Let’s pause for a second and try that exercise. Stop for a second. Close your eyes and let God gaze at you. What do you see?
Whether we realize it or not, God is always looking at us and waiting for us to return the gaze and open our hearts to him.
Once we are able to do that and allow God’s love to penetrate our hearts, we will be able to continue on the “Way of the Heart” and grow deeper in our love of God and neighbor.