by Michael Ketterhagen
“O Lord, you are the centre of my life: I will always praise you, I will always serve you, I will always keep you in my sight.”
--Paul Inland, Psalm 16
As I sat in the pew after receiving communion during Saturday’s Eucharistic liturgy at Sacred Heart church, listening and singing along quietly inside to the words of the above song, I realized that I used to see the Lord, Jesus Christ, as someone outside myself. I would picture Christ, the powerful manifestation of God, as a being whom I wanted to always please.
The words would trigger images of me standing before The King, The Teacher or The Master and making his wishes the “centre of my life.” I wanted to be like Jesus. I wanted to let everyone know how important he was to me so I would follow his every command. I would serve him and his mission in every way possible. That is why my life focused so much on Jesus’ command to live a non-violent life in my thoughts, words, and deeds, even to love my enemies. I also wanted the justice for the poor that Jesus commanded of me.
But during those moments on Saturday, I realized that the wafer of bread that I had just ingested was the physical expression of my Lord’s presence inside me. I now was focused on the Lord inside, the Center of me. I realized that I was longing now to praise and serve the Divine Lord of Life within myself.
I used to be so focused on the outside world, even the words of Jesus in the Bible. Now I wanted to be focused on the inside world and listen to the words of the Lord of my life coming from my conscience and my inner voice. I now want to praise and serve that powerful, subtle inner prompting of the Lord in me. I want to always make that inner command the Center of my life and always keep my inner divinity “in my sight.”
Now I know that the external ritual of the Catholic Eucharistic Liturgy is a way for me to know that the Lord of Life, the Source of my Life and all life, is totally within me. I no longer have to listen to the outside commands because “the centre of my life” is within, always prompting me to do his will, to serve him.
My life no longer depends on some image of God outside myself, but as the voice of God coming through my conscience and inner voice within.
I now long for myself and the world to listen to that God within and not just listen to what others on the outside say God is telling me. I “see” things quite differently now! I no longer “see” things externally, but because of my meditation practices, I am “seeing” things from the God within, the “centre of my life.”
I pray to the divinity within you!