Saturday, September 11, 2004

increase our faith!

God give me more faith, God make me better at praying, God make me a better meditator... and so on. I ask this all the time. But why? The disciples asked Jesus for the same thing and he replied that even faith the size of a mustard seed was enough to move mountains. Jesus uses the mustard seed metaphor again in Matthew 13:30-32:
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.
The presence of God in our lives is something that doesn't just come overnight. It may well grow with perserverence and our own hard work is part of that. But the coming of the kingdom is not something we have control over. Indeed sometimes we may long to see the day of the Son of Man, yet we will not see it. I realised today that my desire for more faith or better prayer is no better than my desire for a new car or a winning lottery ticket. Desire gets us nowhere. It is only when we stop desiring things that we can ever find peace. The Buddha says: 'When desires go, joy comes'. St John of the Cross also puts it very well:

Desire nothing but to enter for Christ into absolute nakedness, emptiness, and poverty...
If you want to possess all, you must desire nothing.
If you want to become all, you must desire to be nothing.
If you want to know all, you must desire to know nothing.
For if you desire to possess anything, you cannot possess God as your only treasure.

The kingdom will arrive like a thief in the night, when we least expect it. We can only prepare ourselves by waiting patiently like the virgins outside the bridegrooms' chamber. We cannot bring it about, we can only sit and wait.
"There is no technique for finding Him, we find Him by His will" - Thomas Merton

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