Outward Gaze: Day 8
‘This listening prayer is the best possible training in the practice of the Presence of God. In looking to Him, we are drawn up and out of the hell of self-consciousness and introspection. We become God-conscious. Stan learned to resolutely check himself when he was turning inward–the practice of the presence of self–and, in that very moment, to cast his mind and eyes of his heart (imagination) on the Lord. “I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Me” (Is. 26:3), has always been the promise of God, and it is the very best way of all to be healed of the disease of introspection.’ (The Broken Image, p. 71)
Skeptics accuse ‘inner healers’ of a dour inward focus, scouring their souls for unhealed memories, etc. Leanne hated that. She insisted on persons first exercising the discipline of practicing the Presence of Jesus. That means activating the will to call to mind and heart the ONE who is always with us. In truth, Jesus sustains our very lives in His love and is ever ready to send His word, be it through Scripture or His still small voice. In our distress, we look to Him, not our distress! Therein lies His capacity to heal us.
Of course, Leanne realized the subtext of wounds and wrong beliefs that we need to sort out. She writes volumes on both! But sensitive souls harm themselves by getting lost in the cosmos of their brokenness. If Jesus is our Healer, then we must learn in a new way to engage with Him–praying without ceasing–to the One who is there. He in truth is closer than a family member, a spouse, a best friend, a pastor, or a therapist. He wants to be ‘everything to a lonely soul,’ quoting St. Faustina.
Then we can bring to Him those things that disquiet us. Our outward gaze helps us to face demons in the light of One who helps us to hurl them out, and to heal.
‘Jesus, forgive me for taking my healing on myself, not looking to You as my Healer. Teach me to practice Your Presence, more than mine.’
‘Jesus, please confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court.’