The Daily Office: Day 26- Apple of Your Eye
Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.
1 Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry!
Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
2 From your presence let my vindication come!
Let your eyes behold the right!
3 You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night,
you have tested me, and you will find nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
4 With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
I have avoided the ways of the violent.
5 My steps have held fast to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.
6 I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my words.
7 Wondrously show your steadfast love,
O Savior of those who seek refuge
from their adversaries at your right hand.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings,
9 from the wicked who do me violence,
my deadly enemies who surround me.
10 They close their hearts to pity;
with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
11 They have now surrounded our steps;
they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
12 He is like a lion eager to tear,
as a young lion lurking in ambush.
13 Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue him!
Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
14 from men by your hand, O LORD,
from men of the world whose portion is in this life.
You fill their womb with treasure;
they are satisfied with children,
and they leave their abundance to their infants.
15 As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
Have you ever gazed into the eyes of someone you love and as you looked intently into their eyes, you could see your own reflection in their pupils? Such a picture is the ideal of love and it is what David desires from the Lord. "Keep me as the apple of your eye," he cries, and let me feel your nearness and protection, just like a baby chick hiding under her mother's wings. David longs for, pursues and often experiences such intimacy with God.
By seeing his own image in God's eyes, David knows who he is, for that is revealed in his Lord’s loving gaze. David knows his calling and purpose and does not seek to claim someone else's identity. He is embracing what Thomas Merton called the "true self."
"For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore, the problem of sanctity and salvation is, in fact, the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self."
That true self is seen in our own reflection in the eyes of Jesus. For we are the "apple of His eye."
Imagine looking into the eyes of Jesus and seeing your own reflection. What does the loving gaze of Jesus tell you about who you are and how you are loved?
Lord, keep me as the apple of your eye! I invite you to lead me and speak into every aspect of my life. I look to you to show me my "true self." Amen