Thursday, November 11, 2010

Prayer, Still

Still Prayer.
That type of prayer that occurs when you are physically, mentally and spiritually still.

Have you experienced it?

It is beyond an act of human will; it is an act of God’s own Will.
This said, it cannot occur without our will. As with all things, no act of God can permeate our lives unless we wilfully let go of our will.

Still Prayer requires a wilful detachment from our own wills and requires us not to think about thinking.
If we become aware of our thoughts during prayer, it is not Still. How do we rest in God? By emptying ourselves so that we might be filled with Our God, with the One who becomes our All in All. Indeed, by noticing the One that is so fully immersed in us.

Still Prayer is somewhat akin to Contemplation in this way. Still Prayer, as with Contemplation, is not something that we do, it is not a thought, it is beyond rote and normal prayer. It is. In it, we become. Through it, we experience Experience. Still Prayer is a step below the contemplative.

Still Prayer is where I realise that, to be fully fulfilled, it needs to be not I that lives, but Christ who lives in me. I realise that I need to empty myself in order to more fully comprehend that mystery. I need to die to myself, in order that I can be raised to new life in Christ Jesus, the Lord over death.

This death-to-self causes much pain and suffering.

Not only to my self - that part of me which is selfish - but also to those around me; it causes pain and suffering to those closest to me as they see the ‘me’ they know disappear; die. In this sense, Still Prayer is the beginning of the Paschal Mystery that is at work in my life.

It is the beginning of the knowledge of the suffering I must undergo to find Heaven; it is the beginning to my death-to-self; it is the beginning of the suffering of those who see the ‘me’ they know die.

It is the beginning of the knowledge of the joy I am to receive when I find Heaven; it is the beginning of my new life-in-Christ; it is the beginning of new, stronger healthier relationships with those who see the ‘me’ I am called to be.

It is the beginning of earthly Contemplation, a foretaste and promise of the eternal Contemplation of the Triune God; a foretaste and promise of Heaven.


Kelly said...

"...When we have removed our outer distraction, we often find that our inner distraction manifest themselves to us in full force. We often use the outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises. This makes the discipline of solitude all the more important."
— Henri J.M. Nouwen

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