Real Intimacy

by | Jan 30, 2022 | Presence

From the Heaven the Lord looks down

And observes the whole human race,

Surveying from the royal throne

All who dwell on earth.

The one who fashioned the hearts of them all

Knows all their works. (Psalm 33:13-15)


Modern society conditions us into a shallow manner of thinking, particularly in treating people (and our relationships with them) as disposable. 

A contrast can be made by pondering the type and nature of relationship with God. To have relationship is to have intimacy. It might be easier to define by identifying what it isn’t. It isn’t reciprocation, you do for me and I’ll do for you. Divine intimacy has more of a symbiotic character to it. Symbiosis is defined as “the living together in more or less intimate association or close union of two dissimilar organisms”. While our uncreated God isn’t an organism, we certainly are dissimilar! Yet this is what God wants of us, and what we were made for; the intimate union for which He fashioned our hearts. 

The relationships we have with one another are dependent upon (and mitigated by) the ability of each person to engage in relations. The readiness of our heart to grow in love is crucial; our ability to seek and respond to the desire for this growth is already embedded in our nature. Sustaining this takes ongoing effort. 

My beloved is mine and I am his, he pastures his flock among the lilies. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he pastures his flock among the lilies. (Song of Solomon 2:16; 6:3)

Relationship with the uncreated God, however, is different in every way. It is true, full, and perfect. Between people there is an ongoing shifting back and forth as one hedges the needs of the other. On the other hand, relationship with God is ongoing and relentless, never faltering and no weak spot. It is simply a matter of our continual surrender into His arms. The deep knowledge of God’s personal love for us melts all barriers so that we want to give in to Him 

God desires, and we all need, an intimate relationship of the heart with Him. It is beyond seeking Jesus as an escape from pressures, from crisis. It is akin to having a lover that sends the heart aflutter in anticipation of the next time to be spent together; a relationship in which mass and prayer turn from mere respite from the world and into an embrace with love. 

It is possible to know God so closely, so intimately, that you know His presence just as you do for any family member or friend of the heart. Take a moment for a mental exercise. Imagine yourself at home, sitting alone in a chair or on a couch in the middle of an empty room: 

The drapes are drawn; all lights are out; not a spec of light is present. Pitch black. Even after your eyes have adjusted, you cannot see. 

As you sit in the darkness, someone walks into the room from the doorway behind you. You cannot see them. They enter so quietly you barely hear them. Yet you know who it is. It may be your spouse, your child, your parent or sibling. Subconsciously, your mind takes inventory of their scent, their gait as they walked, their breathing. But your ability to know who this is goes well beyond that. It is because you know their heart. You have an intimate relationship with them and from that you can know their presence.

Intimacy isn’t physical, it is of the heart. This is precisely God’s will for you: that your relationship with Him is so intimate you know His presence at all times. This is the purpose and aim of prayer. 

As the Psalmist teaches, God is in His reign watching over our projects and us, knowing what is in our hearts. 😊

As we grow in this friendship with God, let it manifest in our pray for the entire body of Christ and our world. 

O Christ Jesus

When all is darkness

And we feel our weakness and helplessness,

Give us the sense of Your Presence,

Your Love and Your Strength.

Help us to have perfect trust

In Your protecting love

And strengthening power,

So that nothing may frighten or worry us,

For, living close to You,

We shall see Your Hand, Your Purpose,

Your Will through all things. Amen (St. Ignatius of Loyola)


Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam 😊




Image: FMedic from Pixabay

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