For over a year now, I’ve been saying the Jesus prayer, that prayer of the Way of the Pilgrim, “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.” It’s become a wonderful habit so that often I find myself saying it unconsciously in my mind. Sometimes I repeat it when I pray for others, saying a particular name in place of “me”.
The other day I was offered another benefit. I was at the cottage in the recliner on the deck beginning my prayer time. It takes me a while to settle into it, to empty my mind of chatter, so I say the Jesus Prayer. I started, and repeated, “Jesus Christ have mercy on me.” Then I heard, not with my ears, but as Benedict said in his Rule, “Listen with the ear of your heart.” I heard Jesus say, “Here I am.”