“Patty, do you love me?”

Last fall I had a period of time where I would play out this conversation in my mind while in prayer.  But it wasn’t really me deciding where this conversation would go, it was purely Spirit directed.  It began with a friend showing up at my door, coming in to my home and asking me this question, “Patty, do you love me?” and I would say yes.  He would ask me a second time, and I would again say yes and laugh saying this was feeling very Peter and Jesus like.  When he asked the third time I would be irritated and say “yes, I do, I love you as a sister loves a brother, as a mother loves her son, as a friend, I love you.”

We would enjoy some conversation and then he would ask me to ask him the same question.  In the beginning I would walk away and not be able to ask the question, telling him that I am not loveable.  As this scenario kept playing out in my mind and heart he began to challenge me to explain how it was okay for me to love him but not okay for the reverse – that in order to love someone I must be able to receive their love also.  It took many days in prayer to work through this conversation. When I could finally both ask the question, “do you love me,” and accept the answer it became clear to me that this conversation was never between me and my friend, but that it was between me and God the whole time. 

This “imagined” conversation assured me of what I already knew – God’s love and mercy is available to me always and that I only need to be open to receiving it no matter what is happening in my life. When we allow the “dark realities” to control our life we close a door, and block out the love and mercy of God wants to shower upon us. How will you crack open that door and let God’s light shine in for you? How will you let go of the darkness that holds you back from embracing God’s love?  

How often do I need these reminders of God’s love and mercy? As often as it takes for me to remember that God’s love is not the same as human love - it is unconditional. God loves me and extends His mercy to me because of who I am - His beloved child - not because of anything I do. May you always receive the reminders you need to embrace His mercy day after day!  

Patty Mayer, Director of Adult Faith Formation
My reflections based on the book: “Busy Lives & Restless Souls: How Prayer Can Help You Find the Missing Peace in Your Life” by Becky Eldredge given out to OLIH parishioners at Christmas 2018