Once when my 22- month-old granddaughter, Alice, arrived with her parents at their church she enthusiastically announced, “Jesus time!” That kid. I just love her so much. The interesting thing to me is that her parents rarely actually take her to Mass. They drop her off at the Immaculate Conception nursery so they can concentrate and be fully involved. My daughter does take her to adoration from time to time and Alice has been known to smile at the statue of Mary and to wave at the monstrance that holds the Sacred Eucharist.
I love that Alice is making the connection between the actual church, as well as adoration or Mass, and time spent with Jesus. I think of Jesus’ words to St. Peter: “Blessed are you Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal this truth to you…” when that founding leader of our church on earth states emphatically that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Alice’s pronouncement about “Jesus time” may not be as profound, but she certainly has put some things together that no one actually taught her. No one we can see, anyway.
St. Augustine said that we are all searching for the Good in our mortal lives and so, in our spiritual ignorance, sometimes the ‘good’ is not really good for us at all, but it does not negate the fact that we are seeking what is truly good.
God is the ultimate Good and when that is revealed to us, or God, who has been calling for us and waiting for us with infinite patience and mercy, finally pierces our darkness, we find authentic happiness. We find our contentment and peace in our “Jesus time” which is all the time once we turn ourselves over to Him.
I read a prayer recently that begs Jesus to “replace my heart with Your heart”. I am amazed by that request and have made it my fervent prayer. When we have the heart of Jesus, we will have His unconditional love for the other, His boundless compassion, His limitless mercy. Then it will be Jesus loving through us, and not our own limited human effort.
Our “Jesus time” can become a 24/7 experience if we are willing to give ourselves completely to God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And we can have Alice’s exuberance, joy, as we live in “Jesus time” – time very well spent.