Monday, September 30, 2013

The Paradox of Prayer

Prayer is the most important thing in our lives, because it puts us in contact with God and with His Will. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult and confusing things we do. It is more than just saying memorized prayers. We have to seek the Lord’s face and talk to Him from our hearts. But we also have to wait for Him to speak and to lead, which can be very difficult for us who are accustomed to instant gratification.

The Lord wants us to seek Him, but with a seeking that waits. We can’t find Him by searching more frantically, nor can we find Him by merely sitting back and waiting for Him to reveal Himself. We must both seek and wait at the same time, as a mother eagerly seeks the face of her child as she awaits his return-as the Father waited for his prodigal son. We must be attentive and alert, looking for His presence everywhere, but yet waiting patiently for His arrival. For we cannot find Him unless He wishes to be found, and He will not be found unless we wish to find Him. I think this poem expresses it well:

“Waiting and Seeking”
Prayer is a seeking that waits
and a waiting that seeks.
It is impatient patience
and enduring expectation.

Prayer is searching the unsearchable
awaiting the unseen guest
it is unceasing labor
and unfathomable rest

Prayer is looking for treasure
and discovering that you are the Pearl
It is knowing your value
and selling all you have.

Prayer is seeking God
and finding that He is seeking you
it is waiting for the God
who waits for you.

+ Br. Ignatius Pio Mariae, CFR
Bronx, NY
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