Monday, October 05, 2009

We do not pray for the sake of praying…

We do not pray for the sake of praying, but for the sake of being heard. We do not pray in order to listen to ourselves praying but in order that God may hear us and answer us. Also, we do not pray in order to receive just any answer: it must be God's answer…

The solitary, by being a [person] of prayer, will come to know God by knowing that his prayer is always answered.

Thomas Merton. Thoughts in Solitude, Farrar, Straus, Giroux pp. 104, 105

This is so important for anyone to remember who is called to anything resembling a contemplative path. It’s also of course an answer to the concerns of those who fear that contemplative prayer is some kind of solipsistic programme of self-improvement, or exercise in “mind-emptying”. We pray in Christ (John 15.7) and it is Christ we are heard…

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