Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Epiphany

You who walk [the way of the wise men] toward Christ—long and fearsome as it may be—who persevere in this difficult inner journey of prayer will come face to face with what you’re looking for. Take care though, the life of prayer is not magic—speak the right words, do the right things, and presto, enlightenment. No, you’ll never conjure up a mystical experience; the mystical is not magical.

Instead, you’ll be lead into the fullness of God (Ephesians 3.19). This fullness is the end of the journey, the goal of all life, the fruit of your spiritual practice. But the moment we say “goal,” we’re tiptoeing close to danger. The ego loves goals, and talking about the goal of prayer arouses your ego and launches you into the kind of grasping, reaching, and achieving that’s the antithesis of true prayer.

So here’s what you’re to do:

The eleventh way is the way of utter relinquishment. There is no further you can travel. You’ve come as near to the Light as you can get on your own.  You must now stop and sit still before Christ.  Ask nothing.  Demand nothing.  Accept whatever comes. Open the treasure chest of your heart and keep it open by breathing gently, letting your breath fall into a natural, uncontrolled rhythm.  Offer the three gifts that have carried you here: gold of faith, frankincense of hope, myrrh of love. They’re all you have now. And these too you must surrender to Christ. Empty and naked you wait, ready to receive what nothing can buy, earn, or comprehend.

The divine Fire, the Light you’ve sought from the beginning, will come suddenly and unexpectedly—an exquisite, unexplainable joy. When you no longer care when and how the Fire comes, or what it’s like when it does, you’re less apt to miss its warmth.

Chris Erdman

1 comment:

  1. Well said! I have a great allergic reaction to any "technique" or mere wonderment at nature. One may find a mantra or, as you pray, the Jesus Prayer useful in getting to that place of relinquishment, where you stop and sit still. However, once there, you drop it, naturally. An excellent encapsulation. [I also note the word "joy"! hehe]

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