We Share One Life, We Are One Life
* * *
*Silent Prayer. Zeeshan Sattar, Flickr
* * *
Monastic prayer begins not so much with "considerations" as with a "return to the heart," finding one’s deepest center, awakening the profound depths of our being.
*Thomas Merton. Contemplative Prayer.
* * *
If we wish to pray truly, we will soon have to face that part of us that transcends, while encompassing, the tradition that shapes our prayer. This, in accord with Thomas Merton's words, is the heart, our deepest center, the mysterious depths of our being. And many would think to transcend means to get rid of, not need any more. Not so. Transcendence includes, the heart takes up into itself and fulfills in itself what was partial. Transcendence is fruition. Transcendence enlarges experience of what was before more restricted, less free, less whole.
Why do we long to let ourselves allow the Spirit to "invade" our lives and take over? Our True Self - which is simply who I am truly, not with attached identities I have been socialized into - longs to express itself, to know itself as itself. We ache for freedom from the weight of all our false selves: which together make up a collective we could call a False Self. Then, we become more free as we have less to protect or less to prove; there is nothing in the True Self that needs to attack or defend so to protect itself. There is no sense of separation from Grace or the other in the True Self: we could call the True Self – the I Am – the union of shared identity in the One of all of us, together. In the I Am of Christ, we discover our I Am, even if that I Am is seen to be derived from the I Am.
As a Christian, I am awakened to this True Self in Christ, so in all of life. Yet, this Christ, the Word from before time-space, does not belong to Christianity, anymore than the Buddha belongs to Buddhism. Christ is not a religious possession to have or get or give, and no faith can keep Christ within itself alone. The Word was before, with, and beyond all religion. Christianity is faithful to the Christ to the extent it understands and practices this nonreligious, even nonspiritual, Word. Prayer leads us – that is, true, spiritual Prayer -, to a larger, more noble, more mature fidelity than merely to our faith, our confession, our creed, our tradition. For true Prayer arises from a Transcendence encompassing all, in Unconditional Presence, or Love - Love is another word for Grace.
* * *
We are each a lovely, pure Rose, in the Garden of Grace.
The Sacred in Me bows to the Sacred in You