Sunday, March 9, 2008
Sister Wendy Beckett
El Greco, Christ on the Cross,
One of Sister Wendy's favorite paintings
"Prayer In Everyday Life"
"Everybody reading this book has his or her own vocation and his or her own life.
Perhaps you have a baby? Perhaps you have an especially demanding workload? Perhaps you are lonely? Perhaps you are angry? None of this matters. It is who you are that God comes to in prayer, and if it is a tired, fractious, despondent man or woman, He still takes you to Himself with infinite love and makes the best of what you can give Him. Your life is not my life. I long to use what has happened and is happening to me as a place where God can reveal His love. My regime, my life, may sound more romantic, more spiritual thant yours, but yours is equally valid, equally a place for God to reveal Himself. Crying baby, difficult boss, the pressures of the mortgage, all of the horrors of the workplace- none of these are invalidating; they just make part of the reality that is you, and it is only to this reality that God can respond.
What matters is that whatever your circumstances, however helpful (like mine) or unhelpful (I hope not like yours) we retain possession of our selfhood and offer it to God. It is the offering that matters, the will, the choosing. If you life is difficult, it could well be that you are more open to God than someone like myself whose life has been so sheltered.
Sometimes people have told me, "I felt too sick to pray." If you think about it, this is really saying, "God cannot come to the sick." What is meant is, "I feel too sick to feel I am pryaing," or "I feel too worried to feel I am praying. How can I pray when all I can think about is my coming operation?" This misunderstands the essence of prayer, which is God's business. You bring yourself ni whatever state you are and offer that to God. There may be very little satisfaction in this. All you may be conscious of are your own feelings, miserable and inadequate, but God does not ask us to pass a test of how beautiful our feelings are. He simply wants us to pray." (Sister Wendy on Prayer, pg 42-43).
Prayer: Christ, come to us as we are. Find us broken and alone. Heal us in time for your Easter Day.