Is our prayer our path? - Rita Byrne - 25 Nov 01greenspun.com : LUSENET : Experience into Words : One Thread
As prayer is one of the necessary things that I must do I would like to understand and hopefully learn to do it better. There seems to be many forms of prayer or ways of praying, and one can identify with most ways or at least feel an understanding of them; what I would like is to be able to say catagorically is:this is the way I pray.. but then perhaps some of us prays in different ways, now one way, and then another; the question is , is one way more important than another? Writing about it may help the understanding, or get the focus right, so here goes: (1). The first lesson I learned about praying was: It is not I who prays, but the Spirit prays in me, God dos'nt need our prayers; we need our prayers, when we pray we are healing ourselves not doing something for God. (2). Prayer is a gift given to us by God; it is not a technique that we can learn; but having received it as gift we must learn how to use it and when. (3). Few people seem to know anything about it, or at least if they do they keep it to themselves. Von Balthasar in his book on prayer talks about contemplative prayer, which he describes as contemplating God as he is in himself. He talks about contemplative people and the importance of the work they do. A question I have is: are all people who are called to pray 'contemplative' or is it a specific way of praying, centered totally on God.? My way of praying is sometimes focused on God; other times it is focused on people, at all times it is very much centered in my own life, not something outside of it. The 'knowing' that Anne Marie talks about is something I can identify with; of entering into anothers pain or darkness, keeping it so they may be healed of it; it is also called 'The prayer of the heart'. In this way of praying you can also bring the hearts of others whom you choose, in your heart, into the presence of The most sacred heart of Jesus and he will heal them.
I do not identify with eastern meditation, perhaps I dont know enough about it. To me it is built on a false premise ; it's faith is not in God but in it's own ability to find God, using certain techniques, then when it has found God ,or mastered the techniques, one sits on the periphery of living, avoiding pain and hassle, experiencing their own nothingness. My question is : where is it's healing qualities or propensity? If I am in error ,I await 'enlightenment' from a master. Must stop cant write anymore. Rita.
-- Anonymous, November 25, 2001
Rita just a few thoughts on the above topic eso contemplative prayer,which I started to practice some years ago first as Transcendential meditation and then Christian meditation, using the method of Jn.maine O.S.B.. I have moved a bit away from this now as I found his method too rigid and tight, but any of his books are clear and direct. I have found the writings of Wm. Johnson S.J who has lived and worked in Japan for 40 years and is so well qualified to express the Christian and Eastern dimentions, to be most helpful,with regard to prayer itself in relationship to the world we live in now. In the west religious training to me was about being righteous, faithful and following the laws of God, it was a powerful message but very cerebral. One of the major contributions brought from east to west and captured in eastern spirituality practices is the holistic awareness that mind body and spirit are intrinsically connected. Two books by Johnson are Silent Music and Arise My Love, he has written several. Also another marvelous book "Whereever you go there you are" by Jon Kabat-Zinn Best wishes for now Tom.
-- Anonymous, November 26, 2001