Quotations: March 2007 Archives

St Augustine said that the child of God's enemy is the one who is God's enemy; We therefore pray in Ps 104 "Destroy Thou mine enemy" with the understanding that God destroys His enemies by making them His friends.

--Mark (yet another Dominican--praise God!)

What a joyous revelation--God destroys His enemies by making them His friends--you may all have already known it, but I admit that to this foggy mind today, it comes as welcome news.

Bookmark and Share

Nations and People

from Morning Prayer

(Isaiah 40)
Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
nor its animals be enough for holocausts.
Before him all nations are as nought,
as nothing and void he counts them.

I know this was not meant as a political treatise, but reading it today something occurred to me that had not in all my other times of reading. "all nations are as nought." God cares absolutely NOTHING for these strange aggregations of society that we call nations. Even the "nation" of Israel is nothing--another mere human construct. What God cares for is people, individuals, souls. He cares deeply and completely about each one of us--but for the entire country of the United States, it is an incidental, dust on the scales, nothing at all. Because of our prayers and because of our love for the society we have, He will honor our prayers and assist us in become what we should be before all people. But His interests are not the interests of the United States, and His concerns are not the concerns of China, North Korea, or India. His interest is in Liu Wenjin, and Sumitra Chakarpanda, and Joseph Smith. His love is for persons, for the reality of souls, a reality that does not aggregate in nations. His love is personal, abiding, and deep.

Bookmark and Share

I took as my confirmation name St. Patrick--not because I'm Irish, I can't identify any Irish at all in my ancestry as far back as I can trace--nor because of the revelry associated with the day, I've never participated.

From very early on I recognized Patrick not only as the Patron of Ireland but also as the Father of Knowledge. Because of his work, and the work of others, the Irish Monastery system that preserved a great deal of what we know about ancient and medieval civilization was firmly established.

And so to honor this great Saint who gained so much for us both in graces and in the preservation of our cultural heritage.

St. Patrick quoted in Watch and Pray: Christian Teachings on the Practice of Prayer
Ed. Lorraine Kisly

Once again I saw him praying in me and I was as it were inside my body and I heard him praying over me, that is over the inner man, and he was praying powerfully there, with groans. And during the whole of that time I was dumbfounded and astonished and I wondered who it was praying in me, but at the end of the prayer he spoke as if he was the Spirit, and so I woke up and recalled that the Apostle had said: "The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words."

Bookmark and Share

Distractions in Prayer

| | Comments (2)

True consolation and encouragement from a friend of God.

from Essence of Prayer
Sr. Ruth Burrows, OCD

. . . I do not think readers would want to be bored to tears by an account of what goes on in my head during prayer! Distractions are my unfailing companions at prayer; but I have learned that prayer doesn't go on in the head, in the brain-box, but in that secret heart that is choosing to pray and to remain in prayer no matter what it feels like or seem like to me. I am totally convinced that our God, the God we see in Jesus, is all-Love, all-Compassion and, what is more, is all-Gift; is always offering God's own Self as our perfect fulfilment. I believe, through Jesus, that we were made for this and that it is divine Love's passion to bring it to perfect fulfilment in us. So when I set myself t pray I am basing myself on this faith and refuse to let it go. I just take it for granted that, because God is the God of Jesus, all-Love, who fulfils every promise, this work of love is going on, purifying and gradually transforming me. What I actually experience on my conscious level is quite unimportant. In fact, I experience nothing except my poor, distracted self.

If one lives in close acquaintance with silence and has time set aside for prayer and contemplation and still goes to find distraction, it would seem that distraction is the human condition of prayer. I suspect there isn't a person in the world, saint or sinner, who goes to prayer without distractions. Distractions are part of our nature--they are the rambunctious child who lives on within us even when we have outgrown that child's body. They are not a sign of deficiency, but they are an evidence of our utter dependence upon God to accomplish prayer in us. We must go willing and mindful of the fact that we will accomplish nothing whatsoever on our own. We go nevertheless, not because we are setting out to accomplish, but because we are obedient to the discipline that will foster the growth that the Father wishes to accomplish in us.

So, instead of worrying about distraction in prayer, focus instead upon being present in the prayer, letting the distractions play around us and letting God encounter us as we are--distracted, weak, and child-like. He will not fail us, this great God of Love and Father of us all. When our will is His, however weakly, He will make the best of it and the best of us.

Bookmark and Share



About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Quotations category from March 2007.

Quotations: February 2007 is the previous archive.

Quotations: April 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll