.. lighting a candle for Who we love. .. from my substack.
When I was getting ready for Mass, I couldn’t find my favorite silver drop earrings, the ones I always wear.
They weren’t on my desk, they weren’t on the vanity in my bath, so I walked over to my prayer altar – this cute antique birds-eye maple side dresser with a missing mirror, its top skinny drawers lined in velvet, discovered at my local thrift shop for less than 40.
Earrings, earrings I mused.. I couldn’t find them. After about a minute, my perception changed, and I began observing this strange collection of me that slowly began hiding in my drawer over time.
In there are my medals, my Immaculate Conception chaplet, my St. Michael chaplet.. a year-old-plus horde of special pens I’ve yet to tap into.. favorite lipstick I can’t find anywhere anymore.. one of the girls’ Christmas rhinestone bobby-pins we keep using over the years, just because.. lots of Therese.. brown scapulars in one of my Dad’s 8mm film tins, one of the few things of his I have.. my pocket watch.. a Casio watch I loved wearing at school for my students, to remind them of a better time.. a pack of my favoritest prayer cards ever, enclosed in a Virgin de Guadalupe notecard.. my mother’s prayer cards and a copy of the last hand-written prayer I ever gave her..
I’m rifling, seeing a glorified junk drawer, thinking, what is all this stuff? – I’m not usually in there.
I’m leafing through some more, through layers of notes, more prayer cards, when I spot a glimmer of an earring.
My heart smiled.. deeply. ..with a little sigh of joy.
Not because I finally found the little thing — a momentary treasure buried in the clutter of my prayer life — but because I saw how God thought of me. In my eyes, this was from Him.
This .. experience.. could be described in a number of ways. I guess the best I can do is list them:
– it’s like finding a note you’re not expecting from someone you love & you’ve been thinking about..
– it’s like you’re expecting a loved one to come by and they sneak up behind you..
– it’s like suddenly finding something your beloved intended to to surprise you with later..
– it’s like realizing your crush likes you back..
It’s a little like that.
It works like this: I am in love with God. I look for Him. I look for traces of Him. When I find them, I kinda swoon inside. 🙂
.. it doesn’t stop there, though. I’ve learned to offer an uplifted prayer of thanksgiving from the heart (it takes a moment), and now I try to petition that graces like this be given to someone else who searches for Him, too. Love God, Love neighbor.
When my earring sparkled, dearest, I also thought of you. I thought about wishing everyone could feel this way, and I wondered, how did this all start, anyway?
Well.. it all started when I had a crush on God.
How to get started – build a good foundation:
Stay close to the Holy Mass, the sacraments, the Gospel. Build and have a strong foundation. This doesn’t mean for you to become a theologian. The requirement is Faith, remember? So, take your gentle Faith, and be loyally stay on The Way, for God is worthy of worship, praise, thanksgiving, that He may be glorified through you. You can do all this with the Holy Mass, lest you have time for nothing else, my dear friend.
Know God through Holy Literature, specifically through the Gospel, the Holy Bible, and the writings of the saints. This is different than listening to videos, talks, or blog posts from your favorite holy priests or commentariats. You want to receive grace from the grace-laden works of those who have successfully lived the narrow way and are with God now.
Pray. To know God is to love Him, and the simplest mode of expressing this love is through, because He built us this way. You need no further proof of this than by noticing how your mind and heart work with social media or with loved ones in real life. We know & love our friends & we think of them when they’re not in our presence. Any little thing can bring us back to remembering them, and we want to share with them immediately, our hearts oriented to them. This is how it should be with God, our minds, hearts, & souls ordered & oriented to Him throughout the day. It takes time to develop this, the distractions & the demonic of this world are real, but we can be successful by realizing our prayer life changes — we won’t always be a n00b. Problems like distractions and lack of stamina in prayer are uncomfortable, but temporary — we will progress as long as we have a little stick-to-it-ness. And, it’s not us who progress, it’s the progress of God’s work in us, simply by availing our souls to Him in prayer. When we set aside time to pray, it’s like we’re taking our souls to The Mechanic’s Workshop, and asking Him to please take care of it, we know not what we do.. That’s what’s worked for me. 🙂
In essence, reaffirm the foundations of being a good Catholic.
(If you’re a non-practicing Catholic or a non-Catholic, the tenants of the Catholic Faith work, because the holy sacraments are an assured means of salvation, created by Jesus Christ Himself, to help us in this desolate life. Through them, we participate in the life of Christ’s grace, because the Holy Sacraments are the Life of Christ — guaranteed means of living His Life of Grace as shown throughout Scripture. For more information on Biblical proofs on the Catholic Life, you can read this.)
Now, we move on to what I know you’ve been waiting for.. (me, too!) 🙂
How to develop a crush on God.
You’ve been in love before.. if not, for sure you’ve been attracted to someone before, infatuated, attracted, crushin’.. Notice the heart-moves of a time when you were fascinated with and really liked someone, and apply that to God, His Majesty is worthy of similar, if not better — The Best sentiments of our heart, because He is God.. O, Great Lover of our little souls!! Who knows us better than anyone who we are, because He made us with such Divine Love!!
The coolest thing about crushing on God is that once you start, your fascination with Him never fades. Your “infatuation” deepens – He doesn’t let it fade.
Now you ask, how do you crush on God?
Simple. Do everything & anything you’ve ever done when you’ve been interested in someone:
– think about them, constantly.
– look back on them, think of previous conversations, encounters
– stalk them a little
– look for the things they say, read into them.
– find out more about them, see what others say about them
– try to figure out how they think, behave, speak. study & learn their language.
– in the moments you don’t get to talk to them (or about them), learn as much as you can about them.
– develop compatibility, conform yourself to them, build an “us” relationship
See? Slightly obsessive.
If that seems weird, let’s go ahead and apply this directly to God — may He be glorified forever! Let’s call it:
Ways to wistfully think about God.
– Think about God, constantly. Find your favorite means, spread them out throughout the day. Set a timer if you must.
– Look back on God, think of previous conversations you’ve had with Him, encounters in your life when you knew He was there. Appreciate these, pray in great thanksgiving. To those who appreciate His work and treasure, He gives more.
– Stalk God a little. Wonder where He is, pine after Him like His little child you are, ask why you’re not seeing Him, that He may give you self-knowledge and whatever virtue you’re needing to persevere in this life and in your prayer life.
– Look for the things God says, read into them. Read Scripture, read life. Wherever you know where He’s been, apply this intimately to your life. What does He want you to know? What does He want you to understand? Pray about this always. We’re so selfish, anyway.. now apply everything you see and ask what He wants you to do with it.
– Try to figure out God thinks, behaves, speaks. Learn to speak His language. Jesus came to us for a reason. To know Him is to the know the Father, in union with the Holy Spirit. His having lived His humanity is the means through which that we can learn more about God. Why do you think it was recorded 4 times for us in the Gospels? He had thoughts, experiences, relationships, ideas, responses, reactions — just like we do. He was fully human, and there’s nothing wrong with studying Him this way. This is what the saints did, and how they grew holy — I think of St. Teresa de Jesus & St. Ignatius of Loyola in particular. Teresa experienced Jesus directly when He would visit her. Ignatius used his imagination by placing himself in a scene from Scripture. It’s okay to wonder, assume, and draw conclusions about Jesus. Your’e not a pagan, but a Catholic with experiences of who Jesus is: our King, our Savior, our Friend, our Greatest Love. Even with just those identities, we can know so much a out Him. What do those titles tell us? What do the titles of our favorite litanies tell us? So much to contemplate. Invoke the Holy Spirit to help you, who is always our Ready Friend to guide us to show us Jesus. Invoke our Blessed Mother, the Mother of God, who had the exclusive privilege of living with Jesus, who know knew Him intimately. Dearest, Gentlest Mother, show us your Son! We are your little children who have come to know Him. Tell us..
– Find out more about God, see what others say about Him. This goes back to reading works by the saints who knew Him intimately, best of all. Sometimes you don’t need to search, it’ll just come to you through an image.. perhaps, through where the pages have fallen in an open book. Always take instances like this to prayer, ask God what He wishes you to discover.. gestures such as these are perfect reasons to draw closer, and knowing more from the Source of Life Himself.
– In the moments you don’t get to talk (pray) to God (or about Him), do any or all of the above. Be busy about the business of knowing Him, but do it less out of obligation as His creature, and more out of holy love. Let your love become a little obsessive, but measured holy obsession. What helps with this is checking our humility & bringing our neighbor along for the journey in Love by praying for them — remembering this is not just about ourselves.
– Develop compatibility, conform yourself to God, build an “us” relationship. This requires effort & change. Based on what you learn about Him, do things that would please Him — that you think about delight Him, give Him joy, make His day in your little corner of the dark, dreary world. Do something for Him to show Him you not only love Him, but that you like God.
See? Crushy stuff. I imagine what the saints did — Mary, too — but in a more pure form.
God gave us simple souls. Sometimes we seem lost because the world attempts to shade & confuse everything in complexity. My solution is to take what I know, what God allows me to experience (He is the Master in Life, completely in charge, we live what we live for His reasons), and try to know and love God through the lens of my Divine Mirror — in the same way Jesus mirrors God the Father and the Holy Spirit, that I may know God forever and ever, Amen.
I love you very much, my friend.. someday I hope to love you as purely and Divinely as God does, with own His Sacred Heart. May He be glorified forever, Amen.
Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam, 11232020