Saturday 26 March: Lent 2011


You are encouraged to pray the prayer, pause, read the scripture, pause, read the reflection, and then pray the prayer again.

The Breastplate Prayer

May the yoke of the Law of God be upon this shoulder,
The coming of the Holy Spirit be on this head,
The sign of Christ be on this forehead,
The hearing of the Holy Spirit be in these ears,
The smelling of the Holy Spirit in this nose.
The vision that the people of heaven have be in these eyes,
The speech of the people of heaven in this mouth,
The work of the Church of God in these hands
The good of God and of neighbour in these feet.
May God dwell in this heart,
And this person belong entirely to God the Father.

‘May the vision that the people of heaven have be in these eyes.’

Romans 12:9-12

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Today we pray for something on an altogether higher level – but with what consequence? What will such a vision do to us?

T read the story recently of an elderly housebound person, blind and nearly deaf. Despite these frailties this lady showed great warmth, happiness and calm. When asked why this might be, she replied that when she first lost her sight she was very anxious. She was confined in an unfamiliar house and that made her uncomfortable.

“One night, she explained, “I was standing before the dressing table, getting ready for bed when a bright light filled the room. The light was so bright that even my blind eyes could see the furniture. But brightest of all was a smiling face looking at me with a smile that would melt any heart. I couldn’t describe that face to you except to say that I know it was the face of Jesus, full of love as he looked at me. The joy and peace this made me feel have stayed with me from that day to this.”

Nothing in her circumstances had changed. She was still blind, deaf, frail and housebound, but to her that heavenly vision had made all the difference.

If we are wise, and blessed by such a vision of God, we will speak only sparingly of them. We might only share about them in private and to sincere seekers after God. But what we can be sure of is that the heavenly perspective gained from such a deep encounter with God, will strengthen our endurance. Visions of God don’t make the journey any less arduous. They do put things into perspective.

In order that I might be prepared for the challenges of my own journey I will pray:

‘Let the vision that he people of heaven have be in these eyes.’

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