"The Father and I are one ad we shall come and make our home in you..." (St John: 10, 30)
Psychologists tell us that intimacy, born in and nourished by a loving presence, is the surest guarantee of a lasting, enriching, personal relationship. Intimacy is linked with feelings of closeness, safety, trust and transparency among partners in a relationship. For intimacy to be nourishing and sustainable it also requires a friendly ease in communication and frequent rituals of connection.
The sweetest sound in any language is the sound of our own name given by parents in a moment of joy, the birth of new life. Jesus was the name given to him by Gabriel in the presence of the Maid of Nazareth. I have known a confrere who would never use "Jesus" but always in referred to him as "Our Blessed Lord, Our God and Saviour." There are four essentials for a joyful, lasting, intimate relationship, namely the physical, emotional, intellectual, and the spiritual and to use a person’s name is to signal a physical trustful relationship.
Physical rituals of connection are important: how often our talk with Jesus is formulised and kept to our prescribed community prayer times. But "love talk" to Jesus, should season the day. We are creatures of habit performing daily many repetitive actions. Let us make one such action, a ritual of connection to Jesus. For me it is every time I place a key in a door or car, I talk to him and here the ancient, venerable 'Jesus Prayer', beloved by so many Christians with all its variations can prove useful in creating a physical intimacy with Jesus.
In such moments we will probably begin to share our opinions, feelings, fears, and dreams which constitutes emotional intimacy. In later moments of personal, or community prayer, when we ponder the Gospel words and the ways of Jesus, we begin to gain enriching insights and to harmonise our own ideas and personal philosophy of life: we thus create Intellectual Intimacy. The most challenging form of intimacy is Spiritual Intimacy which promotes mutual respect with each person doing everything possible to make the other person known and loved by others: this gives life and reason for our evangelising activities as Salesians, especially among the young. Such intimacy with Jesus, fostered by living a 'sacramental' day in our community, is the guarantee of joyful perseverance in our chosen vocation.
Or said in another way and in another genre
"Lord Jesus, think on me ..."
(Hymn for Lent: No 17)
Shall the mighty pinions of God, beating back
unruly universes, soaring to the unknown,
wherein worlds rise beneath their hovering span,
stop, to think on me, a seed in selfishness sown?
Assuredly so, for have I not his Son’s guarantee;
"the Father and I am one and we shall come to thee."
Shall The Word welling up from "in the beginning",
parallel pulse beats of all creating divinities,
turn from awesome ardours to count as treasure me
amid the pressing moments of my day’s activities,
to share the intimacy of closeness in peaceful adherence,
to live His gospel words and ways in joyful perseverance?
Assuredly so! For precious to him is the vowed soul,
who works in his vineyard bearing the heat of the days.
His loving presence enriches, he, a lover of intimate ways,
the proof of which was that long foretold love laden leaping,
which distanced a God from all fulfilling immensities
to Nazareth as a single cell for a maiden's keeping.
Oh yes, Lord Jesus, think on me
And by your grace, I’ll think on thee.
[ Frank Freeman: Lent 2012]