Wednesday, August 25, 2004

prayer again

I have been learning a great deal recently. When I was in India earlier this year, I felt that my faith had become as strong as an oak tree, yet as happy to change with the spiritual landscape as the ivy that grows around it. Inevitably, my return to the oh-so-secular land of Great Britain has been a step down from India, where faith is lived and breathed everywhere from the local bus to the grandest temple. However, being at home has given me the opportunity to totally rely on God for my faith, and he has been teaching me how to give myself over to him a little bit more each day. I mentioned meditation and prayer recently, and these two devotional practices are becoming the pillars of my faith. By setting time aside for them regardless of anything else, I am understanding more and more what it means to abandon yourself to God. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not gloating - I am still a long way off no matter how many times I pray 'thy will be done', but I know that by God's grace, I am getting much closer than ever before.

I've also been reading a bit of Meister Eckhart recently, and although he gets a bad rap for being heretical and amorally mystical, I have to say that his teachings so far have been fundamentally orthodox and yet also challenging and radical within the boundaries of his own Christian tradition. What Eckhart has a very strong sense of is the idea of surrendering ourselves to God, and making sure that no 'thing' can stop us from doing that. He tells us repeatedly that this calls for spiritual perserverence. Much of this perserverence comes through prayer.

With this in mind, I punched 'prayer' into Google, and found at least two places of interest on the first page. The Irish Jesuits run a very popular site called Sacred Space, which leads you in a different prayer and reading each day. You click through different stages as the prayer unfolds. My second site is the World Prayers Project. A fantastic collection of prayers, poetry and quotations from around the world, ranging from a child's grace at the dinner table to the verses of Native American priests. Both these sites are well worth a look if you need some inspiration.

Comments:
I am understanding more and more what it means to abandon yourself to God. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not gloating - I am still a long way off no matter how many times I pray 'thy will be done', but I know that by God's grace, I am getting much closer than ever before.this is both really encouraging and really exciting.. i recognise what you are saying as a position i have mildly felt in the past, but is still a long way off at the moment.

I went to the first link just now. It was touching so thanks for that

 
So far as I'm aware Eckhart seems fundamentally orthodox because he *was* fundamentally orthodox. Having a few propositions condemned as dubious was simply an occupational hazzard; the same thing happened to Aquinas a generation earlier... Indeed, if I've understood correctly, the Dominicans are pushing his cause for beatification. (And just look at the list of Patrons of the Eckhart Society - you can't get much more respectable than that.)

But sssh - don't tell Ruthie ;-)

--RobertB

 
Hehehe... let's just allow Ruthie to think that she's being all heretical and subversive, when in fact she wallowing in orthodoxy! Mwah ha ha ha!

Next stop: "Hey Ruthie! Check out this mega heretical text- here take a look!"

 
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