"This is the one who came through water and Blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and Blood." 1 John 5:6
Have you read Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, yet? It’s a wonderful book, a retreat that can be completed in a weekend for the purpose of comforting Jesus who continues to suffer from our sinful natures and our rejection of the love He offers to us. The entire book was wonderful with many references to St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Faustina. I found myself profoundly moved by Fr. Gaitley’s suggested breathing prayer. There are three parts to the prayer: holding a breathless moment, the inhale, and the exhale.
After releasing an exhale but before inhaling once again, he suggests that we hold that breathless moment, recognizing that here, in this empty space, we are weak and in need of God’s mercy. At this moment the prayer is Ecce-“behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord” and we offer ourselves just as we are.
While inhaling, the prayer is Fiat. We tell God “yes, let it be done to me” and a flood of merciful love flows into our hearts.
Finally, upon exhaling, we pray Magnificat and let our soul magnify the Lord. We offer praise to God for all of the good things that He has done for us. (This part reminds me of St. Bernard’s Four Degrees of Love-the second degree-Love of God for self’s sake.)
According to Fr. Gaitley, this entire prayer is an act of trust, and can become a spiritual communion. “It becomes one if we make it our intention when we inhale to receive God’s rejected merciful love into our emptiness. It’s especially like receiving Sacramental communion if we imagine that the merciful love we inhale is coming down from the pierced side of Christ as blood and water.”
ECCE, FIAT, MAGNIFICAT-Lord, let me breathe in Your merciful love, fill my emptiness with a flood of Your blood and water and allow me to console You and praise You for all that You have done for me. Amen.