Sunday, February 01, 2015

Learning to Pray, Part I

It seems like there is nothing like the act of praying to teach one how to pray.

In the last several years, as I have written about in other posts, the Lord has taught me many things about specifically how to pray. For years I prayed without really realizing the dialogue quality of prayer -- that it is a meeting, a two-way street. I would have agreed to those ideas, but I agreed with a lot of truths without experiencing them in those days.

Meetings depend on so much more than one of the parties involved. And since I was a teenager, I was interested in finding someone who could actually show me how Christianity is done. In the realm of prayer, while I have found tremendously joyful and resonating confirmations in the writings of the Carmelites, the resonances have been with how God has taught me simply in the course of praying. In fact, it has almost been embarrassing to me the number of times I've learned something, and maybe even blogged about it, and then read St. Teresa or St. John describe it. I suppose it makes sense. And I suppose for all those things I read in their stuff that I don't understand, I'll come back to in future days, when God finds me ready for them. Maybe it's not so much that it is embarrassing, but it is humbling in that it drives home to me that these ain't my ideas. God teaches us all. And I realize I'm in the right school.

And speaking of school, the other thing I realize is that the Secular Carmelite has a vocation to make known to others the teachings on prayer of the Carmelite saints. I look into my toolkit and I realize I don't really know how to do that. But I guess that's why God is writing these lessons into my life. Academic prowess is all very well and good, but not, I think, for me. Too ego-sticky. But lessons that one has learned with one's heart, one can communicate from one's heart to the heart of another.

And all that is part of why I blog on matters of prayer. Practice, and thought-sort.

So now I'm ready to write my post.  Next Page.

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