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Letting go of the buden



Letting Go Of the Burden

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble
themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from
their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and
I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 

We can get used to being burdened. To humble oneself in truth is not as easy as it sounds. When someone begins to pray, there is often a feeling of great consolation, joy, and a deep thirst for God. So prayer can be easy, and the habit of praying develops into the rhythm of one’s life. This beginning phrase is very important, for it is here at this stage, that we began to experience the reality of God.

Many people begin to take the veracity of God seriously when they are backed into a corner, trapped, with no way out. It is pain, and fear, that propels them towards God. God responds and allows the soul to feel peace, and hope, and joy. At times there may be a miracle that ends the suffering. In some cases, it is a Near Death Experience that brings them back to the truth of God.

Still in order for the prayer life to mature the ability to choose to pray simply for the love of God, and not for the consolation, peace, and joy that can flow from it. The reason we are commanded to love God with our whole being is not for God’s sake, but for ours. We are made for God. If we do not understand that, we will look for a substitute who, like God, will demand everything from us. What we give our lives to, will demand everything.

Many, and I am one of the many, will need to experience a certain repetition of being drawn to prayer because of some form of suffering, but when it ends, prayer can stop, or become just a function that does not flow from the heart. So it is easy to seek lesser gods, pleasures, or activities that seek to replace our deep longing for the Infinite. God does not soothe, our addictions, and our everyday activities however do. In the end, the inner suffering only increases. Our hearts are made for God, prayer allows our hearts to learn that reality, even if it takes a lifetime. God is patient.

God has a relationship with every human being that is loving, and compassionate, but not forced in any way. So the journey is slow for the most part. The terrible injustice that is so much a part of many people’s lives comes from man’s inhumanity to man. We often abandon, or ignore, those in need, in pain, and in isolation. Prayer gives us the grace, desire, and empathy to reach out to others. Prayer from the heart makes us more human, and it is Christ who works through us.

Prayer connects not only with God but with all of creation. In prayer, we enter into the mystery of existence, of our union with all of being, and in prayer, we do learn this over time. It can be manifested in how we pray.

There is really no book that can do this for us. The life of prayer, if taken seriously, is not easy because we deal with our darker side when we open up to the Infinite Light of God’s love.

Unless we can traverse the inner desert in faith and trust, we will never go into the deeper waters of what a truly loving, trusting, open relationship with God means.

Before we can reach that depth God has to break our hearts open, and he will do anything to do that, even if it brings us great suffering. It is suffering that wakes us up, it is God shouting to a person who has become deaf.

Pray, hope, trust, and no matter what life throws at you. Take the next step, no matter how small it may seem. It is a choice, this death to self, that is open to the Immeasurable love of God, and towards endless growth into the Infinite, as manifested I believe by Jesus Christ.-Br.MD


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