Monday, 5 December 2011

Contemplative Prayer and following Jesus

"We have been taught as Christians, and presumably have believed, that "we are created for union with God" - but in practice we seem not to dare to accept the full implications of this on a subjective level, to really embrace is as the central truth of our lives. least of all, perhaps, are we prepared to trust that this is god's passionate desire for us. (How frustrating, for the Lover!)

At best, perhaps we vaguely accept that somehow, somewhere, "in heaven," we will come to this union of love. But Jesus' life and teachings concern our lives here and now: "The kingdom of heaven is within you"....Repent, and believe the good news": you are beloved of God! His message is that we love Him in loving one another, and that that love is the love of God, living and loving through us in this world, as its source, meaning and end.

It is this love which becomes experiential in contemplative prayer, and gradually in-forms our lives to become more and more a presence of God's love in the world. That love is not confined to time and space, and exerts a creative power which is the one true source of hope in a world tempted to hopelessness in the face of threatened extinction. It has been bluntly stated, "If you do not believe that evil will be overcome by good" - (or hatred by love) - "you are an atheist."  Nevertheless that "overcoming" will not take its course without us, but through our active engagement with God's love and our surrender to it as the only power that will save the world.

Contemplative prayer is consent to that love. It is not "pie in the sky by-and-by when you die," but part of a lifetime process - often costly and painful - of self-emptying and reorientation to selfless love, i.e., a serious following of Jesus. It is, therefore, vitally important today."
Thelma Hall: "Too Deep for Words." pp2-3

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