Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The inner wilderness...

The wilderness is not just a desert through which we wandered for forty years. It is a way of being. A place that demands being open to the flow of life around you. A place that demands being honest with yourself without regard to the cost in personal anxiety. A place that demands being present with all of yourself.

In the wilderness your possessions cannot surround you. Your preconceptions cannot protect you. Your logic cannot promise you the future. Your guilt can no longer place you safely in the past. You are left alone each day with an immediacy that astonishes, chastens and exults. You see the world as if for the first time.

Lawrence Kushner, Eyes Remade for Wonder

I wrote a long post about this in Lent a few years ago, but Kushner’s words here remind me of the way that the words of the Jesus Prayer are continually with me. In some crucial way, this path of prayer is an inner wilderness, a desert of the heart. It is strange how God has opened the way before me, and yet I still hang back too often, instead of trusting that pierced hand outstretched to lead me in the way of the pilgrim...

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner...

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