A vision, art by Yongsung Kim
From her book, Essence of Prayer Sister Ruth Burrows wrote a reflection on prayer, asking, "What do we mean by prayer?"
Prayer: "It is not primarily something we are doing to God, something we are giving to God but what God is doing for us. And what God is doing for us is giving us the divine Self in love."
She goes on, "Any talk about prayer, if we are to stand in the clear, pure atmosphere of truth, must begin by reflecting in firm belief on what Jesus shows us of God. Let us push straight to the heart of the matter.What is the core, the central message of the revelation of Jesus? Surely it is of the unconditional love of God for us, for each one of us: God, the unutterable, incomprehensible Mystery, the Reality of all reality, the Life of all life. And this means the divine Love desires to communicate Its Holy Self to us. Nothing less!
This is God’s irrevocable will and purpose; it is the reason why everything that is, and why each of us exists. We are here to receive this ineffable, all-transforming, all beatifying Love.
Please read her reflection HERE.
I was struck by how beautifully she drew out that prayer is not found in some formula, but rather by making one's self available to the mystery of Love.
The essence of being - the essence of prayer is to be open to God, is to place ourselves at His disposal and enter into an encounter where we allow God to draw us out of ourselves and to know, to acknowledge, and to trust Him. We thus allow Him to enrich, deepen and most importantly, we allow Him to love us as He unites us with His Being.
It is in this obedience, this encounter, this listening to and with God, we literally become speech (we become prayer) and we communicate much more than mere words.
In this form of speech, this letting go and being filled with His Love, we are allowing God to 'translate' us - where the etymology of the word 'translate' means 'to carried across'. So when we silence our noise - our world to become open and listen, God 'speaks' us - God 'translates' us into existence - into the Kingdom. In this essence of prayer we are allowing ourselves to be imprinted by Love Itself and thus prayer becomes being and being is transformed into prayer... and... and trusting that from "this" place deep within, I am loved.
As Sister Ruth Burrows puts it:
Well-instructed Christians know this notionally but, alas, few know it really. And here I must add an important reminder that knowing it ‘really’ does imply ‘feelingly’. To know really – or really to know – means living that knowledge, living out of it. It means that our way of looking at things, our attitudes, our actions arise from this knowledge. Of this real knowledge we use the word faith.
The gift of people like Sr Burrows who reflect and share their thoughts on the spiritual journey is a blessing and should help us along our way in the journey of faith.