I haven’t written about a Thought Conditioner in a while, so I thought that I would focus on one today. I learned about Thought Conditioners years ago, when John and I picked up the little booklet written by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and used it for our Lenten devotion. We worked on memorizing these short scriptures and the positive reflections he had written about them. Since that time, the little verses seem to pop into my head whenever I need them. In this busy, busy time of Advent, it is important for me to take some time to be quiet and to really listen to what God is trying to say to me. I was thinking about needing some quiet time today, when this thought conditioner came to me.
Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live. — Isaiah 55:3
So often, I live my life on the surface. I want to live on a deeper level. I have to remind myself to look beyond what I expect to see and listen to messages that go deeper than the words. I can go to Mass and hear the Gospel, but if I don’t let the message penetrate deep into my spirit, it does not help me align myself with the good news. I can pray, but if my prayer does not include silent time to listen to God speak to my heart, my prayer does not help me draw closer to the divine mystery. Dr. Peale wrote that we should lose ourselves in the Gospel and listen to God as if our lives depend on it. That’s often hard for me, because I have my own thoughts and feelings swirling around in my head and they can limit my ability to let any divine messages penetrate my mind and my heart.
Today, I tried to take a little time to put my own thoughts aside and clear my mind and repeat this passage to myself. “Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live.” I closed my eyes and tried to picture myself drawing close to God and really inclining my ear. Then, I just sat quietly to see what God might want to say to me. I did not “hear” any words, but I had an incredible sense of being loved. I felt myself get warm, as if I was wrapped in a blanket. I had a deep sense of peace. It was a really wonderful exercise, a really wonderful moment, a really wonderful prayer.