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Rekindle a desire to know the Lord more intimately

The recent events caused by the coronavirus have challenged and deepened my relationship with Christ. During this time of distancing, I find myself wondering what it means to be known intimately, by myself, by others and by God. What does it mean to be known? Psalm 139 reveals the way the Lord knows us: “Lord, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar” (Ps 139:1-2). The Psalmist reveals that God knows every aspect of who I am. He probes me; he does not just look at me but studies my every thought and action. When a couple begins a relationship, there is an insatiable desire to know every detail about each other. Justin Bieber says in his song “10,000 Hours,” “When you close your eyes, tell me, what are you dreamin'? Everything, I wanna know it all … ” 

The struggle during this time is the limited ability to get to know others and to be known by them. People have engaged more in social media and online dating as a means to fill this need. God also calls us to know him intimately, because in knowing him, we come to know ourselves. 

Have you ever heard the voice of the Lord speaking to you in the silence of your heart? Do you listen to him whisper, “Do you know me? Do you know how much I love you?” Do you “ ‘know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope’ ”? (Jer 29: 11). 
Sometimes I think I know the Lord, at other times he seems to be just an acquaintance. Often, I don’t notice his presence and guidance, leading me to wonder, do I really need  him? Yet the gentle whispers persist. I turn on the radio, TV, or call a friend hoping this still small voice will disappear. Thank God, Jesus’ desire to know me and search me is steadfast, but is this relationship I have now with Christ the one I want? Does it need to grow? And if so, where do I start?

There are many roads to know the Lord more intimately; here are a few ideas: 

— Pray for the desire to know the Lord; it does not matter where you are in your spiritual journey, everyone can have a deeper relationship with him. 

— Pray to Mary. She is a mother who knows her Son intimately and desires to share every detail of his life with you.

— Invoke the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised to send us the Holy Spirit, an Advocate to be with us. "When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore, I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you" (Jn 16:13-15).

Jesus had to go to send us the Holy Spirit. May 31 is the solemnity of Pentecost. Just as the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles to fill their hearts with a burning love for Jesus and a desire to know him more intimately, we too can spend some time in preparation for this solemnity by invoking the Holy Spirit to rekindle that fire in our souls that we received in baptism and confirmation. “Veni Sancte Spiritus,” Come, Holy Spirit.

Piñon is the director of faith formation and evangelization programs for the diocesan Office of Faith Formation.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020