My loving Father, thank you.
All is gift, all is gift…
every moment of life, every instant,
every encounter, every hope,
every sorrow and every joy.

Ah, I am so grateful to you for the
grace of personal encounter,
for allowing me to glimpse,
in them, something of the beauty
that you, my God, see and love,
something of the mystery
that touches, attracts, and draws your Heart.

And I am also thankful, Father,
for the pain of loneliness within my heart.
It is so mysterious…
that the more intimate the encounter,
the embrace between human hearts,
the more profound the vision
of your beauty alive in them,
the more restless does the heart become for more—
for an embrace, a mutual indwelling of persons,
that is deeper than is possible in this life,
and, above all, for immersion, God,
in the Abyss of your own Beauty
and your ravishing Mystery…Father, Spirit, Son.

And in you, dear God, I thirst,
with this heart wounded by your children’s beauty,
for union with them in your embrace:
that I may live in them and they in me,
unceasingly and totally,
as we together live in you, God,
and you in us, completely.

This is a beautiful and blessed pain:
the pain of being so alive that it hurts.
The pain of tasting life…and yearning,
ardently, for the fullness
which can only be known
when this life gives way to the next.

Kneeling on the floor at the back of the chapel
as the Eucharist is offered,
my eyes pass over all of those who kneel
between me and between you, Lord.
My heart is, as it were,
wrenched out of my breast
in yearning to be one…one…one
with them in intimate embrace,
in shared love and knowledge
of one another within your own
all-enveloping light.

And in the same moment,
this movement of self-transcendence
–my heart passing out of itself to the other—
is a movement of acceptance,
of loving welcoming.
My inmost being expands
to become a dwelling-place
in which the heart of others,
my brothers and sisters, dwell.

As I kneel here, overwhelmed
by intermingled gratitude and desire,
and as the sacred Host is raised up,
I realize that the thirst in me,
this gift of my inner being,
and my being’s acceptance of the beloved…
I realize that this is but a participation, Jesus,
in the mystery that you live unceasingly
in the Holy Eucharist,
and in the heart of each and every person.

In my heart, my flesh,
in this virgin body surrendered to you,
in this heart open in obedience
and in the poverty of acceptance,
I know, Christ, that you are living…
You are living in me because you love me,
and have yearned to abide in me
in a communion most blessed,
inexpressible in its intimacy.

When I close my eyes and pray,
Jesus, you are here in me, in my inner heart,
with the Father and the Spirit,
your heartbeat filling my whole being
and irradiating me with your presence,
suffusing my being and, then,
reaching out from within to love,
to accept, to reverence, to welcome others.

No, not “others,” which is a generic term,
but rather the beloved, unique and unrepeatable,
whom you allow me to see,
in some small way, as you do.
Heart then speaks to heart:
your Mystery in me echoing
in the mystery that is theirs,
and them, welcomed by you in me.
And I, enveloped in you,
am caught up in love,
both for you and for this beloved person,
and, in turn, simply hold them close,
intimately close, to my heart,
in gratitude, in hope, in desire,
in compassion and intercession.

“You are no longer your own,
but you have been bought at a price.”
Yes, my very body, Lord, is for you,
and you, in turn, seek nuptial union with me,
even in the body—
as your Eucharist, Body and Blood,
inundate and fill me with your being,
and as my being is taken up into you.
And my body, too, dear Jesus,
belongs also to others,
becoming a gift for them in ardent love,
a love that is both crucified
and bears, already, the seeds of resurrection.

Ah, Jesus, my vocation to solitude
is so mysterious, paradoxical.
I do not understand—though I feel—
the reason that you have chosen
this deeply sensitive heart
(this heart that yearns for love,
for intimate relationship,
this heart that thirsts for human embrace,
for friendship, fraternity, and spousal love)
…that you have chosen me to enter
into the profound silence and solitude,
and there, unceasingly, to remain.

All the thirst of my heart grasps out,
and aches in a sacred loneliness,
in inexpressible longing, for an intimacy
that is deeper than that possible in this world.
And it is precisely through the heart
of this loneliness, this inner solitude,
that I find the doorway into communion…
and can open a space for others to find it too.

What a mystery! That you ask me
to step away, to plunge
into the abyss within my own heart,
and yet precisely from within this abyss
to find myself opened out to others,
yes…drawing near to them
within your own Heart
which lives deep within both them and me.

In this way our world’s loneliness,
its painful and unnatural solitude,
can in some way be healed and transformed.
For so many hearts are lonely
because they are afraid to accept love,
because they have been betrayed in their thirst,
and they have put up barriers to protect
the vulnerable and defenseless heart.
The desire—which can never be quenched—
thus burns unceasingly deep within,
seeking expression, but hindered by fear.

On the other hand, there is a loneliness,
intensified, not through the fear of being open,
of giving one’s heart to another
and of welcoming them into oneself,
but rather a loneliness of abundance…
that the heart is wounded so deeply
by the thirst for love, absolute, enduring,
in the intimate embrace of persons,
that it is restless through every moment
of this passing life, until it rests in eternity.

Why have I deserved to be such a person?
It is a pure grace,
given to me absolutely because you love me,
but given also that, through me,
it may be given to others too.

In all of my frailty, I ache, not because
I do not know love,
but because love has touched,
healed, and mysteriously wounded my heart anew…
and has made me so alive with longing,
and with the gratitude that enkindles thirst the more,
that my being is a gaping space crying out for communion
with you, my dear God, and with every person.

And this thirst, crying out unceasing,
I trust, dear God, I believe,
serves to draw you and your children together—
as your thirst and their thirst meet and are united,
love giving drink to love, and enkindling love anew,
until this loving embrace is consummated
in the perfect happiness of communion
that awaits us at the end of time.