Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lectio Divina - Forty-one

Teilhard de Chardin, quoted in The Oxford Book of Prayer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989, p.7.

Blessed be you, harsh matter, barren soil, stubborn rock: you who yield only to violence, you who force us to work if we would eat. Blessed be you, perilous matter, violent sea, untameable passion: you who unless we fetter you will devour us. Blessed be you, mighty matter, irresistible march of evolution, reality ever new-born; you who, by constantly shattering our mental categories, force us to go ever further and further in our pursuit of the truth. Blessed be you, universal matter, unmeasurable time, boundless ether, triple abyss of stars and atoms and generations: you who by overflowing and dissolving our narrow standards of measurement reveal to us the dimensions of God . . .

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lectio Divina - Forty

Andre Louf, in Christian Teachings on the Practice of Prayer From the Early Church to the Present, ed. Lorraine Kisly.  Boston: New Seeds, 2006, p.2.

Each and every method of prayer has but one objective: to find the heart and alert it.  It must be a form of interior alertness, watchfulness.  Jesus himself set “being awake” and “praying” side by side.  The phrase “be awake and pray” certainly comes from Jesus in person (Matt 26:41; Mark 13:33).  Only profound and quiet concentration can put us on the track of our heart and of the prayer within it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lectio Divina - Thirty-nine

Eugene H. Peterson, Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer.  San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1989, p.98.

Our hate needs to be prayed, not suppressed.  Hate is our emotional link with the spirituality of evil.  It is the volcanic eruption of outrage when the holiness of being, ours or another’s, has been violated.  It is also the ugliest and most dangerous of our emotions, the hair trigger on a loaded gun.  Embarrassed by the ugliness and fearful of the murderous, we commonly neither admit or pray our hate; we deny it and suppress it.  But if it is not admitted it can quickly and easily metamorphose into the evil that provokes it; and if it is not prayed we have lost an essential insight and energy in doing battle with evil.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lectio Divina - Thirty-eight

A Pygmy prayer, from Desmond Tutu, An African Prayer Book. New York: Doubleday, 1995, p.8.

In the beginning was God,
Today is God,
Tomorrow will be God.
Who can make an image of God?
He has no body.
He is the word which comes out of your mouth.
That word! It is no more,
It is past, and still it lives!
So is God.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lectio Divina - Thirty-seven

Anthony Bloom.  Beginning to Pray.  Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1970, p.15.

To meet God means to enter into the “cave of a tiger” - it is not a pussy cat you meet - it’s a tiger.  The realm of God is dangerous.  You must enter into it and not just seek information about it.