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Christ stands by us in Holy Communion, wrapping us in His cloak, as a man cloaks a friend in a storm, to hold His friend close and to give him protection, warmth and consolation.
Personal prayer, in our 'secret room', is never made alone; through Christ we are present with the whole company of Heaven
The Lord wants us to keep alive the hope of Heaven. We are not all meant to be busy campaigning about great causes. He is grateful when faithful people love Him and remain faithful to their ordinary duties and to prayer, and are kind to their families and friends.
Christ is a true friend and companion to those who believe in Him and love Him.
We can picture Heaven as being like a big party, where everyone is related, and, where people live together in mutual delight, love and care, in God's presence; yet careless or lukewarm friends of God are held and purified below, until they are ready to take part. Those who refuse God's friendship utterly, however, descend to Hell, where there is no hope of joy.
The happy group of friends at the party gave joy to God through their grace before the meal, their faithfulness to marriage and to friendship, their love of God's gifts of laughter, food, drink and music, as men and women together celebrated a birthday and therefore life itself, which is a gift - from God.
Christ told me: "By reverence, you enter into the Mystery. By the opposite, you cast yourself out". He was speaking about the Mystery of friendship with and intimacy with God. Great faith in Him should show itself in gestures of reverence and gratitude.
Some people refuse all sorts of requests and invitations from an acquaintance, then expect to be treated as a 'best friend' when finally turning up for a wedding party. People who habitually ignore Christ cannot expect to find instant joy when they finally decide to spend a few moments in prayer. They are unprepared for union.
There is a place for formal prayer, Christ explained. Yet some of our prayer with Him should be like the conversation between two friends who stroll down a street together, pointing out items of interest, or calling to mind certain persons.
Jesus would be the first to help a friend in need. Likewise, He urged me not to worry about leaving my prayer in order to deal with a little mishap. Friends understand one another.
Christ is Really Present with us in the Blessed Sacrament. We are just as close to Him, in Holy Communion, as were His friends, when they sat beside Him in Galilee.
Just as a kind mother rarely scolds a child if he is unwell, or worried about his school exams, so Christ is especially tender and helpful towards us when He sees us struggling to cope with special trials.
There are public talks for enquirers at which speakers tell of their personal friendship with Jesus, which is strengthened by what they read in the Bible. The best talks are those given by faithful Catholics who present the whole Gospel message, including the life of the Church: that God became man, to save us; He founded a Church on those who were witnesses to His Death and Resurrection; the Church can tell us how to live, and help us to know Christ and achieve salvation; we can belong to her.
The comfort experienced by close friends of Christ, in His presence, is like the comfort experienced when a distressed girl is held by her mother, in an embrace of real love, until the child can calm down, look at life from the comfort of her mother's arms, and see things in their true perspective.
A person who rarely prays, or who prays but does not open her heart completely to Christ cannot develop an intimate friendship with Him. It is as if she declares that He is a good friend but, not trusting Him, keeps the door of her soul on the chain.
As soon as I asked the Saints and Angels for their help, it was as if they surrounded me in a huge crowd, to support me, as I knelt before the Father's throne, offering Him my evening praise. Truly, the Lord assured me, I have an army of Heavenly friends.
Some people want intimate friendship with Christ, but refuse to keep His Commandments. In refusing, it is as though they insist on walking a different road from His Way to Heaven. They end up on dangerous side-roads or cul-de-sacs.
I 'saw' a man falling into Hell, it seemed, as he shouted at the Lord: "How dare You do this to me!" But that angry soul had spurned the Lord's friendship and forgiveness and by his own choices had chosen to be separated from God.
By our intercessions, and the grace of Christ, we lift up our friends to God; it is as though we help them to travel with greater calm, as if on an escalator, and to have a 'higher' viewpoint, and time for reflection - but they retain their free-will. We do not lift them into Heaven.
Whoever trusts in God and in the merits of Jesus His Son, and prays with faith that he will be helped, is indeed helped, even in the deepest pit of sinfulness, despair and self-disgust. He can even be led into an intimate friendship with his Creator, when he has been drawn up from darkness.
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