As Jesus used the time between His Resurrection and Pentecost to help His disciples understand Him more fully before being sent into the world to proclaim the Gospel, so let us use this Easter Season to grow in unity with Him by examining the Unity Prayer.
The Unity Prayer is the fullness of Grace – to be completely one with Jesus, to be partakers of the Divine Nature to think and feel and act and be as God is. But the Unity Prayer is very easy to misunderstand. It is not a “me and Jesus” prayer. It is not inviting Jesus to come into our lives and walk with us. It is Jesus inviting us to come into His life and walk with Him – to give up the way we want to go and instead go where He goes. Accept this invitation and walk with Him!
May our Feet Journey Together
This is much more than a poetic statement of unity. Jesus explains what this means elsewhere in the Diary. To where are we accompanying Him? Not to our “happy place” but to Calvary. Jesus is inviting us to be just like Him (what else can a Christian be!) to offer ourselves in sacrifice for the salvation of others.
Jesus: “You suffer, do you not? Suffer for Me. This is My gift. You can only receive suffering like this from Me. Whether the suffering is spiritual or bodily, accept it from pure love for Me. You know what I told you: We must go up to Calvary. May our feet journey together. And if you are feeling alone, I permit it only so that you receive merits that you can offer for your faults and for souls consecrated to Me. . . . .The Spiritual Diary (first edition); Elizabeth Kindelmann; p. 87
Do not be frightened by the suffering that frequently comes upon your soul. I do this to get you accustomed to sufferings. By these, we walk together and gather together.”
Jesus: “My little Carmelite, your continual sacrifices give witness to your continual fidelity to Me and to My work of Salvation. These make you walk on the path of martyrdom. Do not fear, our feet journey together, and even though you grieve, let us continue walking together.”ibid.; p. 88
Jesus’ request to accompany Him to Calvary is a perfect example of devotion to the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Maybe we didn’t realize that’s what the deal was; maybe we were expecting that we have faith and all our problems and difficulties go away. Wait a minute! Calvary?! That’s not what I signed up for! I thought Jesus did that for us. False advertising! Bait and switch!
Well not really. This is what Jesus has told us from the beginning if we were willing to hear:
“And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.’”Luke 9:23 NASB
Notice that He does not say take up his daily cross. It is not a cross that changes from day to day – poor health today, financial trials tomorrow, problems with a neighbor the next day. We take up the same cross every day. Jesus tells us what that cross is in the next verse:
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”Luke 9:24 NASB
Jesus is asking us to give up our lives. We don’t see crucifixions any more in our society but anyone in Jesus’ day would have known what this meant. When you took up your cross, you weren’t coming back; you were going to your death.
To follow Jesus, we must die to self. Our hopes, dreams, desires, plans – we give up everything and follow His hopes, dreams, desires, and plans. That’s the deal. And, by the way, His hopes, dreams, desires, and plans are much better than ours! But for now, Jesus asks us to walk with Him to Calvary, to sacrifice ourselves in love for others:
“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.“I John 3:16 NASB
Or, as Saint Paul exclaims:
“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death”Philippians 3:10 NASB
And when we come to truly grasp what Jesus is asking and where it leads, we count this all joy:
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials”James 1:2 NASB
The willingness to give anything for the sake of saving others is central to the Flame of Love – which is Jesus Himself. Are we willing to say yes to His prayer to us, “May our feet journey together?” Like Abraham, Mary walked with her Son to the hill of sacrifice. The only way to the glory of the Resurrection is through the voluntary suffering of Calvary.
Flame of Love Basics Series: The Unity Prayer