On Prayer, Transformation and Spiritual Direction

Prayer.. (Photo credit: aronki)

We Yearn

We today yearn for prayer and hide from prayer. 

We are attracted to it and repelled by it.

We believe prayer is something we should do, even something we want to do, but it seems like a chasm stands between us and actually praying. 

We experience the agony of prayer-lessness.

 Richard Foster

Merton's Voice: What is the use of prayer if at the very moment of prayer, we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer?

Thoughts in Solitude. Thomas Merton.

The beauty of the Lenten season is that it encourages the development of a humble heart.

- Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit  by Pamela Houston

                                                                    Image from here

The woman walks up the mountain
and then down. She wades into the sea
and out. Walks to the well,
pulls up a bucket of water
and goes back into the house.
She hangs wet clothes.
Takes clothes back to fold them.
Every evening she crochets
from six until dark.
Birds, flowers, stars. Her rabbit lives
in an empty donkey pen. The sea is out
there as far as the stars.
Always quiet.
No one there. She may not believe
in anything. Not know
what she is doing. Every morning
she waters the geranium plant.
And the leaves smell like lemon.

Linda Gregg H/T to Pentimento for the poem above

  A Lenten Prayer by Walter Brueggemann

   Loss is indeed our gain

   The pushing and the shoving of the world is endless
   We are pushed and shoved.
   And we do our fair of pushing and shoving
   in our great anxiety.
   And in the middle of that
   you have set down your beloved suffering son
   who was like a sheep led to slaughter
   who opened not his mouth.
   We seem not able,
   so we ask you to create spaces in our life
   where we may ponder his suffering
   and your summons for us to suffer with him,
   suspecting that suffering is the only way to come to newness
  So we pray for your church in these Lenten days,
   when we are driven to denial- not to notice the suffering,
   not to engage it,
   not to acknowledge it.
   So be that way of truth among us
   that we should not deceive ourselves.
   That we shall see that loss is indeed our gain.
   We give you thanks for that mystery from which we live.

Richard Rohr writes in the Huffington Post : Lent is About Transformation from here

Finally, a really neat video of Rev. Terrence J. Moran, retreat leader, spiritual director, and author on Spiritual Direction; what it is and what it isn't..... and he also reads the beautiful prayer from the Iranian mystic, Hafiz

We Should Talk about This Problem

There is a beautiful creature

Living in a hole you have dug.

So at night

I set fruit and grains
And little pots of wine and milk
Beside your soft earthen mounds,

And I often sing.

But still,

You do not come out.

I have fallen in love with someone

Who hides inside you.

We should talk about this problem---


I will never leave you alone.

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