Prayer and Silence
There are days when my morning meditation goes well, and of course, that can be said of my seeking to deepen my prayer life throughout the day. On other days it varies. I can be tired, or agitated, angry, or perhaps anxious over something……or just simply unsettled, without knowing the reason….it happens.
Focus does not come easy, scattered thoughts float to the surface. Even saying the rosary can at times be of no help. So what to do?
Keeping it simple, really helps, to simply stay with it, don’t grade, accept the reality of the situation, and take the next step. To say the next Hail Mary, or to read over again a line from scripture, or to simply seek to be in silence, observe. That is all that needs be done…..easy right (?)….well of course not!
It does not matter what kind of prayer experience one is having, it is the intention, the being there, or simply showing up that is important.
Prayer is not about us, it is about growing in our relationship, and union, with God. In that, we find who we really are in the sight of God. It is in this hard school that we learn compassion, and empathy for others.
It is times of inner struggle, chaos, and pain that we grow in self-knowledge, as well as our need for God grace. For we learn that God is always faithful. As St. Paul says, “Jesus is God’s Yes”. Or “Jesus, is always, Yes”.
We need not fear our inner demons, which can be unsettling, since before God all is seen, yet we are loved, each uniquely. It is the growth in self-knowledge that leads us to embrace ourselves before the loving gaze of God. For often, we really do not know what we are doing. Not knowing our left hand from our right. Inner conflict is normal for most, and in our prayer, we may feel like we babble or are wasting our time. Yes, prayer, no matter how poorly we think we are doing, is never a waste of time, neither for us nor for others, for whom we may feel a desire to pray for.
We can each only pray the way we can, not the way we can’t. In silence, we are led to the kind of prayer we need in order to deepen further, our relationship with God.
Prayer of Silence
When we speak of silence,
inner quiet and peace,
are they always there in equal measure?
Is silent prayer, like sitting in a boat,
on smooth waters, with a gentle breeze,
or, is silence more than just a pleasant
state of being?
Is silence present when the waves rise,
the winds increase and we hold on
for fear of drowning?
In the midst of life’s chaos, of pain,
confusion, and overwhelming emotions,
of conflict, and doubt, is there a place
where God’s quiet presence can be seen/heard?
Silence, and observation, do they dance together?
Can we have one without the other?
To observe, is to listen, often without thought,
it is the taking in, the acceptance of what is before us,
be it a situation, a person, or some inner state.
Before God, does it matter what state we are in, or, are all events in life,
both inner and outer a call to seek the center of all that ‘is’.
In prayer, be it deep inner union with God
or scattered thoughts piled up,
or emotions rocking our tiny fragile boat,
sailing on our vast inner ocean of the unconscious, that different?
Silence is a way of accepting reality
in all of it rawness, pain, chaos,
and yes, as well, in the beauty, joy, and love,
meshed together in our often zig-zagging pilgrimage.
It is God who is faithful, when we stumble,
who enfolds us when we wander,
when we are unsettled, he is our steady rock,
in the desert, our spring of living water,
in pain, our solace, in
our moments of the Gethsemane experience,
(father take this cup from me),
his empathy, and compassion, with us,
for in silence God speaks,
yet, it is not always what we would want it to be.
Deeply rooted the love of God
in deep inner storms
we are not washed away,
we may bend, feel broken,
tired, dejected, yet, we stand with Christ Jesus,
for all we need do is to say ‘yes’, observe, embrace,
and simply be.—Br.MD