He Delights in You

Every year in October my family and I would take a day-trip to Stratford. Rising on a Saturday morning my sister and I cradled hot cocoa and Timbits in the car, buzzing with the promise of petting the barn cats at a family-run farm on the way into town. I remember the warm-cinnamon scent of the farmhouse selling sugary maple syrup and the crisp breeze that tickled our noses. Breathing in these memories feels like flipping to my favorite part of an old storybook, my fingertips knowing which pages have dog-ears and which ones are partially torn, knowing how the indentations of the text arranged on the page feels, and passing over the speckled dust that settles where the stories meet the binding. I know these things not only because I have experienced them, but because I continually delight in them.

“Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”

–Psalm 37:4.

When I’ve seen this psalm in the past, I’ve wondered how it is that I truly delight in the Lord. I can always be more attentive at mass and make more time for prayer, but to delight in Him seems like it requires something different of me. When I delight in those fall-time memories, the ones that soothe home-sickness or trickle in a bit of joy into a mundane day, I take the time to recall as many details as I can. I envision the way the dust looked like musty confetti beneath my feet as we entered the barn, the way the kittens purred with the stroke of their cuddly fur. These little snapshots bring the memories to life in my heart.

This is how I hope to delight in the Lord: to awaken His presence in my heart, truly feeling his peace in the depths of my soul. Like recalling a comforting memory from childhood, I seek to have that same familiarity when delighting in the Lord.

Here are some ways in which I have practiced actively calling upon His presence in my heart:

1.      Confession. Some of the closest times I have felt to the Lord have been after I have anxiously walked into the confessional to receive his mercy. Although daunting, the feeling of refreshment and love after the final blessing of forgiveness from my sins draws me nearer to the Lord’s heart on the cross.

2.      The Eucharist. Try going to daily mass for a couple days of the week and journal how you feel at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week. Although you may not feel immediately different, when the body and blood of Christ enters our own, we are forever changed.

3.      Talk to a friend about your spiritual life. Having a spiritual director or faithful friend to share the ebbs and flows of your relationship with the Lord is an effective way to call upon His presence.

4.      Sing. To delight in something is to enjoy it, to feel that joy and hang onto it. Singing for the Lord no matter if you think you have a good voice or not, no matter if you are in a group or you are alone, brings such prayerful delight to our Father.

5.      Know that He delights in you. No matter what you have done, no matter how many times you need to remind yourself, the Lord delights in you, just as He desires you to delight in Him.

Jesus, help me to know you, seek you, love you, and recognize you in all things. Whether it be in the leaves that fall, the flowers that bloom, or in a still silent hope, help me to know Your presence in me and delight in You. Amen.