Friday, August 24, 2007

Is Prayer your life?

Fr. Louis "Thomas" Merton once gave a talk to a group of nuns, who we might think could write the book on prayer. It is comforting to know that everyone struggles to find ways to pray, even those who are, so to speak, "professional." Here in large part is the text of Merton’s talk:

The great thing is prayer. Prayer itself. If you want a life of prayer, the way to get it is by praying. We were indoctrinated so much into means and ends that we don’t realize that there is a different dimension in the life of prayer.

In technology you have this horizontal progress, where you must start at one point and move to another and then another.. But that is not the way to build a life of prayer. In prayer we discover what we already have. You start where you are and you deepen what you already have. And you realize that you are already there.

We already have everything, but we don’t know it, and we don’t experience it. Everything has been given to us in Christ. All we need is to experience what we already possess. The trouble is we aren’t taking time to do so.

If we really want prayer, we’ll have to give it time. We must slow down to a human tempo and we’ll begin to have time to listen. And as soon as we listen to what’s going on, things will begin to take shape by themselves.

What is keeping us back from living lives of prayer? Perhaps we don’t really want to pray. This is the thing we have to face. Before this we took it for granted that we were totally dedicated to this desire for prayer. Somebody else was stopping us.

It is a risky thing to pray, and the danger is that our very prayers get between God and us. The great thing in prayer is not to pray, but to go directly to God. . . . Forget yourself. Enter into the prayer of Jesus. Let him pray in you. By grace we are in Christ. Our relationship with God is that of Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit.
-- Fr. Louis Merton

In peace,

The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek


Gary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary said...

I love this picture! How wonderful animals are in sensing our emotions and inner spiritual state. Interacting with them truly brings us closer to God. How wondrous are Thy works, O Lord; in wisdom hast Thou made them all!