In the last chapter (Chapter 7) of his book “Jesus the Bridegroom,” Brant Pitre concludes with a reflection on PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS, which also means PERSONAL PRAYER.
…It is not only in baptism and the Eucharist, or through marriage, consecrated virginity, or priestly celibacy that we can enter into the great mystery of Christ’s love for the Church. It is also through the personal encounter with the living God known as prayer. Jesus not only wants to wash his bride, and to feed her, and to be with her when the marriage supper of the Lamb finally comes; He also wants to talk to her, alone, away from the crowd, at the well of living water.
For if Jesus really is the divine Bridegroom and the Church really is His bride, then He is always there, waiting beside the well from all eternity, waiting for us to bring Him our brokenness and ask Him to give us the gift of his Spirit. (pp. 167-168)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church #2560 reminds us:
The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.
As I’m reflecting upon all this I think of Jesus’ first apostles and disciples. They lived with him for three years but perhaps they did not quite have a personal, intimate experience of him. It may have been only after he rose from the dead that they “encountered him personally” in such a way that they recognized him as their “personal Lord” to the point that they were ready to die for him.
Let us pray for one another to grow in intimacy with Jesus especially through the time we spend in private prayer with him.