Prayer Is Our Humble Answer To The Inconceivable Surprise Of Living. …

To pray is to take notice of the wonder, to regain a sense of the mystery that animates all beings, the divine margin in all attainments. Prayer is our humble answer to the inconceivable surprise of living. It is all we can offer in return for the mystery by which we live.
— Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel from Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays

Prayer is rhythm. Prayer is comfort. Prayer is disappointment. Prayer is words and shape and art around desperation and delight and disappointment and desire.
— Pádraig Ó Tuama from Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community

Prayer is inspired by God in the depth of our own nothingness. It is the movement of trust, of gratitude, of adoration, or of sorrow that places us before God, seeing both Him and ourselves in the light of His infinite truth, and moves us to ask Him for the mercy, the spiritual strength, the material help that we all need.  The man whose prayer is so pure that he never asks God for anything does not know who God is, and does not know who he is himself: for he does not know his own need of God. All true prayer somehow confesses our absolute dependence on the Lord of life and death. It is, therefore, a deep and vital contact with Him Whom we know not only as Lord but as Father. It is when we pray truly that we really are.
— Thomas Merton from No Man Is an Island

Poems After Rumi

The fruits of consecration
are sweetness and patience,
sureness in the middle of panic and confusion
when baboons put on business suits.

Don’t forget your purpose.
This is all a holiness —
but don’t tell anyone.

You’re on a mission for the King.
Risk your life for him,
and at the end of your journey
you’ll find yourself received with a crown.
The crown will fit old grooves in your scalp.
Who was the King,
who was the servant?

• • •

Take the time to pray —
it is the sweet oil
that eases the hinge into the garden
so the doorway can swing open easily.
You can always go there.

Consider yourself blessed.
These stones that break your bones
will build the altar of your love.

Your home is the garden.
Carry its odor hidden in you into the city.
Suddenly your enemies will buy seed packets
and fall to their knees to plant flowers
in the dirt by the road.
They’ll call you Friend
and honor your passing among them.
When asked, “Who was that?”
they will say,
“Oh, that one has been beloved by us
since before time began.”
This from the people
who would have trampled over you
to maintain their advantage.

Give everything away except your garden —
your worry, your fear, your small-mindedness.
Your garden can never be taken from you.

• • •

Get full value.
Don’t cheat yourself.
You are being called
to spend everything
for a moment’s bliss —
with no guarantee
that payment will ever come through.

Only fools hoard their heart.
You are no fool.
This grief and this longing agree on that.
Your love yearns to cry “yes.”

What option is caution
for the soul that would be free?

Finally the oyster knows itself
to be not different from the pearl:
soft flesh made precious in pain,
all a jewel in God’s fiery sea.
— Lynn Park from A Path With Heart

See Also:

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2 thoughts on “Prayer Is Our Humble Answer To The Inconceivable Surprise Of Living. …

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