…Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.
The fulcrum of transformation
is not the found in the formulas of liturgy, libation or litany,
but in prayer that releases our hearts’ desire— yearning to be made new.
It is this readiness to surrender—
listening and letting go, waking up and looking out, wondering, waiting and wailing—
that sways the balance of power in our lives.
For what is the point of praying
for things to change,
if we are not open and ready to being turned inside out?
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make melody.
Awake, my soul!
Jesus cautioned us not to babble or berate,
showing instead how to cut through pretension
and clear the way for mercy to work on us.
Such prayer comes from and leads to
It humbles as it connects. And never, never does it isolate.
Opening what was closed, barred and locked,
it carves out space
to make room for newness.
By-passing the head entirely,
it wells-up from a gutsier place,
much lower down.
Such prayer is our undoing.
Open to surprise, it can be breath-taking,
sucking the wind out us, knocking us off our feet.
Always, always it widens
as it stretches and leads us
to a deeper appreciation and experience of life.
Starting with wordless inhalation,
it culminates in the quiet,
breathing that silent language of lovers we call listening.
Will you let listening be the way
and end of prayer,
till your heart cracks open?
And the deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept. Not that we discover a new unity. We discover an older unity. My dear brothers (and sisters), we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.
– Thomas Merton
And in these times of terror,
let us pray to be brought back together,
according to the measure of our Maker’s mercy,