Hello dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray this article finds you well! This week we’ll look at how we can pursue daily life-changing encounters with Jesus, woohoo! First, I’d like to simply talk about what a meaningful personal encounter is. Recognizing the elements of our meaningful personal encounters with one another can help us to value, and look for, these dynamics in our relationship with Jesus as well. While this can be broken down a million different ways probably, I’d like to focus on six aspects of a meaningful personal encounter. 1-One to One: there is a one on one, person to person interaction. 2-Presence: you are in their presence and they are in yours. Encounters over the phone can be powerful but there’s nothing like being in someone’s presence. 3-You See Them: And they see you, so much is communicated by the way we look at one another before and during our communications. 4-You hear them: And they hear you. 5-You touch them: a handshake, a hug perhaps, is often part of our meaningful personal encounters. 6-Something is communicated & understood: there is a meaningful exchange, even if brief that communicates something both understand.
A meaningful personal encounter becomes life changing when the way we live is impacted by it. For example, a good conversation with a great friend who has words of encouragement can help to change our attitude which in turn affects the way we encounter the people whom God puts in our path.
Second, before offering five specific ways that we can encounter Jesus in a life changing way on a daily basis, there’s a primer. Prayer is a gift and it is good for us to ask for this gift on a daily basis. Specifically, I like to ask Jesus to grant me the gift of prayer, along with an awareness of His presence and a desire to be in His presence. It is incredibly easy and enjoyable to get in the presence of ESPN (I love sports) and I pray that Jesus gives me the grace to long for, and delight in, being in His presence.
Third, here are five great ways to have a life changing personal encounter with Jesus daily: 1-The Name of Jesus: #2666 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that when we say the name of Jesus, He is present. Simply meditating on His name with faith brings us into His presence! 2-Ignatian Contemplation (also called Imaginative Prayer): This treasure of the Church involves allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our imaginations so we can enter into the gospel scenes and encounter Jesus. It is incredibly powerful and there are lots of great books out there on Ignation Contemplation that can help you to pick up this form of prayer. 3-Lectio Devina: prayerful reading of sacred scripture, the gospels especially amount to a powerful encounter with Jesus! 4-The Rosary: contemplating our Lord’s life with His Mother, who wants to help us encounter Her Son, is powerful. Using the gift of Ignatian Contemplation while praying the Rosary is a powerful combination as well! 5-The Eucharist: Jesus Himself! Eucharistic Adoration is an intimate encounter with the risen and glorified Jesus and as we spend time with Him and talk with Him, open our lives to Him, we are truly changed. Receiving Holy Communion with faith and love allow us to be transformed by His love. With all of these ways, it is best to end our prayer with a self-offering to Jesus, such as “I am yours Lord” or “I love you and give you my life Jesus!” God bless you my friends, please know of my daily prayers for you, and thanks for yours for me & Fr J.J. and the whole staff!