This is a blog that I post to several times a week although not necessarily daily. These reflections are triggered by the scripture found in the lectionary used by many Christian denominations. While I am part of the Catholic tradition, these posts are not --or rarely--sectarian. I try to put myself in the space of a of Jesus Christ and listen to words that come to me as I read and pray the scriptures. Each post also includes a photograph. These rarely have any connection to the content of the post but are simply pleasing images that I capture as I make my pilgrimage through life.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The only prayer that makes sense to me

Magnolia with visitor
One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth,from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened,and the Lord opened her heart to pay attentionto what Paul was saying. Acts 16:14
For some years I have found it difficult to pray to the Divine One requesting interventions in human life to cure diseases, solve problems, eliminate suffering, right wrongs, etc.  If the Divine One, in fact, does intervene, why in some cases but not in all.  In other words, if I pray to the Divine One to cure a debilitating disease, why would the Divine One wait for my prayer?  Why not just eliminate them in the first place?  Or why would the Divine One help some people but not others?  Did they not pray?  Not pray enough?  Not pray in the right way?  None of this came to make any sense.

Everything and everyone is created by the Divine One.  That includes all the good things we experience as well as all the bad.  Praying to the Divinity to be selective about the good and bad seems nonsensical.  Of course, I deeply desire that I and everyone in my life avoid suffering and pain and want and need.  But that desire probably ought not be translated into prayers of petition to the Triune Divine One.

The above passage from Acts provided me with an insight about prayer.  Lydia was listening to Paul but the Divine One "opened her heart to pay attention."  I believe that the Divine One is present in me and all that exists.  In the ground of my being is the spark of divine life that is the overflowing source of my life.  But for most of the my life and most of the time, my heart has been open to that reality so I have not paid attention to that divine life within.

This is the point at which, I believe, the Divine One can and does intervene in human life, in my life.  The Divine One is there constantly waiting for me to open my heart.  The impulse to open my heart comes from the Divine One is some mysterious way and it is that impulse for which I pray.  And I pray that I respond to that impulse and open myself to the presence of the Divine One within.

That is my prayer for myself and all those for whom I pray.  It is the beginning of the process through I put on "the mind of Christ" and begin to experience the world and everyone and everything in it with the eyes of Jesus the Christ, the incarnated Divine One.  That is what will make all the difference.

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