As a Benedictine oblate I sure need to pray more and should be sharing about prayer with my readers more.
When I was an Anglican priest a friend gave me a book of quotations on spirituality, theology and philosophical fragments that had been compiled by an old priest over many years.
It’s bound in a heavy red cover.
It has been a source of strength to me for a long time.
I’m going to try to be faithful with a new series on the blog just putting up some quotes from the Red Book.
Prayer is a relationship of love that shapes our life. It cannot therefore be an instant affair. Like any deep relationship it is a reality into which a person grows, often imperceptibly. It growing we change, yet become more fully ourselves. This is part of the paradox of prayer: we want to be changed in order to grow into the lovers God means us to be, and the only way to be so changed is to surrender ourselves to God. This is where Benedict’s insistence on obedience makes sense. Obedience is free, loving consent to God, the “Yes” to his will however it is made known. It is almost true to say that prayer, love and obedience are the same thing– at any rate they are inseparable. – Maria Goulding OSB
Two things hit me the most. First of all, the realization that the spiritual life is a mountain to climb. Someone asked me today why she doesn’t have a relationship with God. I said it is something that grows. It is not instant. Then there is the question of obedience. How do you expect to have a close relationship with God if you are not walking with him, and how do you expect to walk with him unless you walk where he is walking and how do you expect to walk where he is walking if you are disobedient for it is in his commandments that he directs you how and where to walk with him.
Image Clear Creek Monastery