The Morning Kiss

Recently I was a guest in a family. I witnessed a little conversation between the husband and his wife. It was in the morning. He was about to leave for work, she was still sitting at the breakfast table. She said, “You haven’t given me a kiss yet”. She said this without resentment. She was just reminding him. He kissed her immediately. It was nothing special, nothing extraordinary, not even worth mentioning. And yet: I realized how important this ritual was for them. This kind of ritual is important for each of us. To tell someone in the morning, I love you. To show it and tell him. And to receive the same gesture; to hear: I love you.

God has given us the gift and the ability of intimacy. It is a grace to be able to express our love to the other. The same is true for our relationship with God. How could our relationship with God, who has given us this gift, be different? We can express our love for Him in similar ways: a little morning prayer, a little “hello” to God, the kiss on the icon. Everyone has his or her own way.

When the soul receives a kiss from the Godhead, it stands in complete perfection and bliss. (Meister Eckhart, DW I,172-4.6)

Intimacy needs signs and gestures. The daily kiss does not have to be overly authentic. I can’t fully express what my innermost is every day. The ritual is important, the fact that I just do it. It has an effect. Its regularity as an effect. It is to remind me, God loves me. He loved me yesterday, He loves me today, and He will love me tomorrow. I want to hear that from Him every day. I need it. And I think he wants to hear it from me, too. We should not miss our “morning kiss” with Him. I should do it even if I don’t feel like it. Feelings change. His love remains.

He may kiss me with kisses of his mouth! Yes, your love is more beautiful than wine. (Song of Songs 1:2)

Lord, you asked Peter: Do you love me? You wanted to hear from his love. He answered, Yes, I love you; you know that I love you. I pray with his words: “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Show me your love and tenderness, every day.

I Will Wake the Dawn

Assisi 2016 (18) - Copy

“I will sing and chant praise.  Awake, my soul; awake, lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn.” Psalm 57:8-9

This is a bold claim—to wake the dawn. As if the dawn would not get up by itself. As if it would not wake me.

How do I feel in the morning? Sometimes full of joy and looking forward to the day’s events; sometimes worried and concerned, often just tired. For some of us the dawn is a relief because we could not sleep well.

In order to wake the dawn, I have to be up before the dawn. I have to be awake before the sun even wakes me. It is bold because as humans, we are part of nature and mother sun is huge and powerful. To be ahead even of her is an amazing thing.

The Psalm seems to point directly to Jesus Christ. The women discovered His rising from the dead “as the day was dawning.” This discovery, the resurrection of the Lord, brought a new light to their life that changed everything. It was truly a dawn of a new life. But when they discovered the empty tomb and the angel sitting there, the Lord was already risen. That means He had risen before the dawn. It means He is greater than the sun and moon; he is even before the sun. He is the true sun. He is the true light.

When we get up very early in the morning, when we wake the dawn – with our praise, with our joy –  we join the Lord. We can sense something of this new, everlasting, imperishable life. We are filled with joy because Jesus is even stronger than day and night, stronger than life and death. In Him all of this was created and finds its fulfillment.

Dear Lord, when I am tired and not motivated to wake up, let me think of you. You are ahead of me. You are ahead of this day, so I know that everything will be good. Let me be close to you. Let me be with you at the place where you have been even before all life was born. You give me a light and a life that cannot be destroyed, by no one and by nothing. Let my singing and chanting be an expression of this joy. Let me get up early. Let me wake the dawn.