The goal of the Christian life is to love God for all eternity. We can begin that goal during our life on earth, loving God each day more and more.
However, it is not always easy to maintain that love, especially when trials and tribulations strike. We are tempted to neglect our prayer life and our love lessens each day.
St. Gertrude the Great had a method that she thought could help an individual maintain that love of God on a daily basis.
She wrote various spiritual exercises, and in one exercise, she wrote a morning meditation that was focused entirely on loving God when you wake up.
Set apart a fitting time … in the morning … and maintain yourself in union with God by praying with all your love, all your devotion and your full intention, as though Jesus, who is present in your soul, were visibly present to your bodily eyes.
Often it is easier for us to love someone when we can see them. While we can’t see Jesus with our bodily eyes, we can use our imagination, or put before ourselves a picture of Jesus, reminding ourselves that Jesus is truly beside us in a real way.
Then, after envisioning Jesus’ presence, we can stir within our soul a deep love of him. This should be done regardless of our sensible feelings.
O God, my God, to you do I watch at the break of day. For you my soul has thirsted … O God, you are love … In the morning you shall hear my voice, O my God, my dearest love … Let the greatness of your love triumph over all, let the infinite sanctity of your merits wrap me all around … Look down upon me and teach me to know you. You have first loved me, it is you who have chosen me, and not I who have chosen you … Show me your countenance and let me gaze upon your beauty.
This little exercise doesn’t have to last long, but it can be a powerful experience to start your day basking in the light of God’s love for you. It can affect our every action, and reminds us where to put our priorities, even before we have started our day.
God is love. Let us start our day gazing at Love, loving him in return.
St. Francis Xavier encourages us to love God for only one reason
Prayer for a greater love of God