Contemplative prayer is about the best tonic I know for a weary soul. Or any kind of spiritual practice that takes you away from yourself for a bit and puts you in touch with a deeper reality will do it. I learned long ago that there are many, many ways to find meaning. ” Anything that works” is my motto for transcendence.
I have offended you. I'm sorry, but if you're willing to sit with it for a while, the stuff you disagree with, it's far more likely to teach you something than the stuff you don't. If you open yourself to it.
On contemplative prayer. It's my turn to lead at the next meeting of the group I belong to that meets monthly at Llansor Mill away over the border in South Wales. It's a bit scary, because at least two of the group on any given day are theologians, which I am definitely am not. So, it's my turn to lead, and we're doing St Teresa of Avila, who lived a long time ago and set about reforming a church that had become worldly and corrupt.
I discovered I couldn't get my head round her, or her teaching, and was beginning to get a bit desperate, when I had an epiphany! It was my heart that needed to get round her, so I stopped trying to be clever, and wrote poems instead.
Here's my reflection for Day Seven of the collection of her sayings, “Let Nothing Disturb You”:
Mantra: “Do not be bashful with God”
Summary: Would you refuse a gift if the queen offered it to you?
Reflection on the text: I had a conversation with God many years ago. I was trying to sort out some difficulty believing that God need not concern himself with it. I don't remember much of the detail, but that I was holding on to some misdemeanour, believing that it was unforgivable.
“Was not my Son's death price enough to pay?”
I realised then that it was not humility that led me to refuse God's gift of forgiveness, but the very worse kind of pride.
Ask with confidence. Don't be shy.
Is a powerful, enlightened soul,
She streams into my life with light
And joy of being. She makes me
Be better than I am,
And she is four years old.
She is as she is, because she never
Needed to fear me
Or please me
She needed, only, to know this:
I love her.
And so it is with God,
I sweep into his presence as if he belonged to me.
He taught me with his love.
Not to be shy.
Night Prayer: May I approach you every day Lord, with confidence and joy.