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For I Have Seen

A Prayer for the Feast of the Presentation

Now let your servant go in peace, for I have seen… I have seen!  Simeon had waited his whole life for this moment, Lord.  Just to see you, the fulfillment of his longing, brought tears of joy to his eyes.

I have seen!  I have feasted my eyes!  I have touched, held!  And I have recognized whom I looked on, realized whom I’ve grasped to myself with my own two hands.  Simeon got it.  He understood what you were all about because he had prayed for years, growing in desire and hoping against hope.  All his life he poured into those few minutes, all of his purpose and burning expectation.

And I, I have received so much more.  I gaze upon you and hold you every single day.  But how do I prepare? Often with indifference.  It’s not some far-off event, fifty years in the future, that I have to prepare for.  It’s tomorrow!  Yet I calmly continue with what I’m doing, hardly breathless for the next day’s miracle.

But Simeon didn’t know you as I know you.  He knew you were the Messiah, the Promised One—but that you were God himself?  God come to die and conquer death forever?  Simeon didn’t enter into your very heart as I do—the simple sight of your laughter and the brush of his hand over your head was more than enough for him.  Yet you call me to the purest and most penetrating of intimacies.  You give me more than I could ever ask for, more than I could ever imagine.

Inflame my cold heart!  Wipe away my indifference.  Open my eyes.  I want to see you as you see me, to love you as you love me, with complete self-gift.  I know I can’t, but still, let me try.  I will hold you—give me a touch delicate yet strong to defend.  And when I receive you in my soul, don’t leave me.  Stay! Possess me!  Fill me.

And when that eternal moment has passed, as all moments must in this time-infested world, may my one obsession underlying everything I say, think, or do, be to prepare for our next moment together.  May you be not only the center of my day but the center of my life.  Amen.

Photo Credit: jeremeywcox

As I live out my consecration to God and preparation for the priesthood, I am convinced in the power of the 'way of beauty' mentioned by Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium n. 167. To learn to see beauty as an expression of God in all things helps us to fall deeper in love with him. And there is no better way to give the faith than inviting others to experience its beauty.

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