The newspaper gossip columnist and radio news commentator, Walter Winchell, once said: “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” This beautiful quote by Winchell aptly describes who a friend really is.
Now, if there is a friend who really walks in when others walk out, perhaps in disdain and greatly disappointed about what they might have thought or fathomed about us, it is clearly Jesus! No one in the world understands us as much as He does! The reason is quite obvious: first of all He is God incarnate. Thus, in himself there is the best of both natures, divinity and humanity. Second, it is because He, as the prophecy of Isaiah rightly says of Him, is the suffering servant of Yahweh. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
In real friendship both friends need to enter into each other’s shoes. They need to communicate so as to share the love of friendship they nurture for one another. In John’s Gospel Jesus confesses that it is in His very nature to share. He just loves sharing His love for us! No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:15). An authentic friend shares whereas a servant just executes his master’s orders. Hence, it is Jesus’ delight to share with you and me what He hears from His and Our Father because He surely knows that the Father’s love for Him and for us is what really keeps us going in life!
Prayer is undoubtedly the privileged vehicle through which we communicate with Jesus, our Divine Friend. Hence, there are many ways of conversing with our Lord in prayer. Some of the most familiar modes of prayer involve participating at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, praying the Divine Office, praying the Rosary or the Divine Mercy Chaplet or any other kind of chaplets, reading meditatively the Holy Bible, reciting some beautiful prayers composed by the saints, spending time in adoration adoring the Eucharistic Jesus, or dedicating a time to meditate in silence about His loving Presence.
While all these types of prayer are helpful in that they can nourish and consolidate our relationship with our Lord, a very powerful kind of prayer is when we open our hearts and talk our problems out loud to Him. Needless to say, Jesus knows all too well our needs, thoughts, problems, and worries about all the stuff that is whirling around in our lives. He is God! And, as such, He knows our life situations much more than we can ever imagine. Having said that reserving a time to converse with Him can bring enormous blessings in our lives. By simply exposing our problems and concerns to Jesus we might greatly benefit from His eternal wisdom. In our daily confusions and frustrations He can show us a way that we never really imagined existed before.
Moreover, speaking honestly to Jesus of what might be hindering us in experiencing his life-giving peace can bring into our lives lots of clarifications. How healing it is to let Jesus enter into our hearts so as to warm our approach to Him, others, and most of all, ourselves! Thus, inviting Him into every area, especially the remotest one, of our heart and spirit, can be the beginning of our spiritual, physical and emotional thriving.
Certainly, the Diary of St. Faustina is a case in point of this healing that takes place when Jesus is invited into one’s heart. When Jesus becomes present everything takes a turn towards Heaven. This is so because Jesus is the light [that] shines in the darkness,… the true light that enlightens every man [and woman] (John 1:5.9). For instance, in entry 1485 of the Diary, the soul confesses to Jesus its doubt that He will ever pardon it due to its numerous sins. It even says that its misery fills it with utter fright. In front of this existential spiritual angst, this is the reply of Jesus to this troubling soul:
After listening to such an incredible love which no human can really give, what would be the soul’s reply if not the following one:
Unfortunately, many are the people who erroneously think that God can never forgive them for what they did. But, as the Diary of St. Faustina clearly shows us, our God is infinitely merciful! The more we dialogue and converse with Jesus the more His words will change our hearts and reassure us that His love in our lives prevail no matter what!
As Pope Francis said in his address at the International Meeting of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network at Paul VI Audience Hall on Friday 28 June 2019: “And prayer is just that: speaking well to Jesus about others, it is like saying: ‘Lord, I pray for this problem, for this difficulty, for this situation…’ Therefore, this is a journey of union, of community. Are not these, union in community, the prime fruits that we reap when we engage ourselves in dialogue with our Divine Friend Jesus?”