It was a long night last night, for no apparent reason I slept fitfully, and gave up at one point because reading helped more than anything else, I am not aware of being particularly stressed by anything, except that there is a lot going on, and life is life, (so nothing new there). That said, as I wrote yesterday, perhaps this is simply symptomatic pf the times we are living in, instability in every walk of life seems to be a new normal, perhaps it always has been.
At times like this I can do only one thing, that is roll with it and pray, not shopping list prayers looking for fix-it solutions, but prayers with deep groans and sighs and silences where I meet, if I hang on in there, with the Spirit who whispers deep within my soul that all will be well.
At times like this, ( and my life is in truth very comfortable and mostly stable) I have to believe that within me is a spark of divine goodness, for I was created good and am in the process of being made wholly good, as we all are, because of this I can reach out, and in for the divine and find her ( or him) at work within me.
Quoting St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio (1217–1274) Richard Rohr’s meditation today states:
“Unless we are able to view things in terms of how they originate, how they are to return to their end, and how God shines forth in them, we will not be able to understand.”
And quoting St Paul, he links the two:
“Before the world was made, God chose us, chose us in Christ” (Ephesians 1:4). The problem is solved from the beginning. Rather than seeing history as a “fall from grace,” Bonaventure reveals a slow but real emergence and evolution into ever-greater consciousness of Love.
Over the last few years (okay decades) this thinking has wound its way from my head, where I wanted it to be true, into my heart where I can receive it with a deeper knowing, it prevents me from rejecting myself, despite the voices that wake me in the night. I no longer see God as the one whom I must please, being afraid of putting a step wrong, being concerned about living and praying correctly. I no longer worry about being excluded, and that gives me the freedom to embrace others as I am embraced, barriers fall as the flow of Trinitarian love flows through me.
Prayer then is placing myself, warts and doubts and failings and all into the flow of love, and letting it wash over me, and run through me, from that place I can take my place in the love and sharing of God. It sounds so easy, get into the flow, and go with the flow, but it takes intentional work and practice, it is much easier to withdraw and defend myself than it is to be truly open to love. Love demands that I change and grow and become my fullest truest self, more than I am.
As we move towards the season of advent, the season of hope, where we look towards the coming wholeness that God will bring about in fullness throughout the world ( all things new, no more sickness, no more pain etc.), I want to make this daily intentional prayer a deeper practice in my life, and while I know I will fight it, and probably hide from it, I will continue to pursue it, or maybe I will simply fall into it, remembering that this is not my work, not my achievement, for all is grace.