“FEED ME, O LORD!”
- a reflection on Psalm 81:11b (NABRE)
- by Deacon Paul Rooney
In one of her reflections (“What Were You Arguing About?”), Heidi so wonderfully pinpointed the key to every single relationship of intimacy—that of taking time to “be with” and to “listen to” the Other. It triggered many thoughts for me (thank you, Heidi!), especially as they related to the writings of St. John of the Cross (1542-1591).
I would like to share a short meditation with you on Psalm 81:11b, “Open wide your mouth that I may fill it” (NABRE). Observe this picture of a tiny bit of God’s creation: can you identify yourself on a spiritual level?
St. John of the Cross speaks of the “mouth of the will.” Perhaps drawing upon St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), St. John teaches that loving God is an operation or action of the will. If we are dependent upon “good feelings” or consolations that God sometimes sends our way, then our appetites are still controlling us. We would no longer have a pure love for God, because it is really the “good feelings” we are looking for, rather than God himself.
The appetite, St. John teaches, is the mouth of the will. If our appetite is on pleasure or things, then it becomes “narrow.” On the other hand, if the mouth of our will is “opened only to God Himself, empty and dispossessed of every morsel of appetite,” then God will be able to fill it with His love and sweetness.
Thus we come full circle. How can one be “fed” unless he opens the mouth of his heart to the Word of God? This is an obvious metaphor for taking time to quiet down, and listen to the inspired Holy Scriptures, especially the gospels. We have God’s promise: if we open wide our mouths, we will indeed be filled! [I am not overlooking other ways that God can "feed" us, such as simply resting in his loving presence. Those ways are for another day.]
I pray the Lord to bless you with daily quiet time, a time of holy feeding!
- Deacon Paul Rooney