Suddenly, out of nowhere, these words came whirling fast into his head, totally uncontrollable and spontaneous, yet as clear as if they were spoken to him there and then.
“How shall I pray, Lord?” said the words in Father Ignatius’ head.
“Shall I beg over and over again for You to hear me? Is that what You want of me?
“Shall I plead for ever like the widow to the judge until she was heard?
“How do You want me to see You? As an over-powerful ruler demanding His own way?
“How do You want me to love You? As one loves a monster, with immense fear lest I arouse your anger and wrath?
“Shall I fear You for ever and cower at the thought of your fury?”
Father Ignatius stopped praying and made the sign of the Cross. He took a deep breath … and yet the words continued in his mind … somehow gentler now … somehow softer …
“Love me as a child … with no fear and no dread.
“Trust me as a child trusts his parents when they give him food and drink.
“A child never questions whether the food is good to eat … he takes it in trust and asks for more.
“He never doubts when led by his parents … he follows eagerly holding hands along the way.
“Love me as a child … and I’ll treat you with love and compassion.
“Ask me as a child … and I’ll give you what’s good for you in good time.
“Trust me as a child … and I’ll show you the way …
“No matter how difficult your journey ahead, I’ll always be there … guiding you into eternity … with Me.”
The words suddenly stopped as quickly as they’d started. Yet their message remained with the priest for a long time.