The man who does not warrant his spirit to be struck down and wounded by aridity and vulnerability, but who lets God lead him with peace through the wild, and desires no other support or guidance than that of pure faith and God alone, comes to find himself surrounded by the Promised Land. He will savor the joy in the air within the union of God. He will, without “seeing” a thing, have a consistent, comforting and mysterious awareness of the presence of God, acting upon all the events that make up his life.
The man who comes to find himself no longer afraid to abandon all of his spiritual headway into the hands of God, to put prayer, virtue, reverence, grace, and all of the other gifts within the presence of Him from Whom all gifts must come, will walk with peace in alliance with Him. His peace is all the more sweet—because it is uninhibited from all care.
Just as the light of faith is darkness to the mind, is the supreme mystical activity of the mind and our will sharing prayer with His infused love. There are times when prayer seems to us like inaction. This is why it is in the nature of our faculties to become restless with anxiety. This is why sometimes our mind refuses to keep still. It seeks to become the sole proprietor of its own act. Just the thought that it cannot act according to its own spontaneous impulsion brings about it a suffered humiliation that the heart has to fathom.
As soon as there is any coherent indication that God is drawing the spirit into the ways of prayer, we ought to remain at peace in this prayer that is uttered with simplification, stripped of acts, our inner echoes wiped clean of images, while waiting in an emptiness of expectancy for His vigilant will to be done within us. This waiting should be lacking anxiety and without a deliberate hunger for any experience that comes in close contact with our knowledge or memory, because any experience we feel we can grasp or understand would be shameful to the state in which God wishes upon our souls.
When the imagination (though it will remain active) no longer offers pleasure nor fruit, but only tires and upsets you even though it rests on the most attractive of natural things, it is wise to go get lost in the woods—to rekindle the imagination with God. And it is then that you find peace layered in positivity derived from the fruits of resting in the expectation of God’s essence. This is better than just sitting around persecuting your mind and your will with labors of vanity that try to finagle a few intimate affections out of them.
If you reflect to deep within your negative state, you will see your mind absorbed in a vast, ambiguous thought of God and your will becomes haunted, with a shaded and half-defined desire of God. These combine to produce in you the anxiety and darkness, which make eloquent and exacted acts seem so hard and futile. And if you allow yourself to remain in this silence you may find that this thirst, this hunger that seeks God in the darkness, will grow within you and at the same time, although you find nothing that is tangible, peace begins to establish itself in your soul.
If and when praying, your mind simply departs and your will turns petrified—and you find yourself leaning upon a gate thinking about what you are going to have for lunch in half an hour, you’d be none the wiser to keep occupied with the definitive distraction of daily chores. There is always the possibility of laziness lurking in the shadows of prayer. This laziness will dress itself in the façade of a prayer spoken with simplicity, followed by degenerating into a sheepish sleep. The absence of pure activity in no way turns you into a contemplative being.
This is a where a book has been known to sometimes help. It is the Bible that most may use, but it can be a “spiritual” book of any kind to get you started in the sort of prayer where there isn’t much thinking involved. As an example that caught my attention I have chosen the following scripture to share with you all.
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3 : 5
When you find a paragraph or a sentence that appeals to your “state” of being, refrain from reading further and turn that sentence over in your mind and absorb it, and rest in its cosmic dance with the serene and effortless consideration of the thought, and not just in the details but as a whole, as something savored in its entirety—and so pass from this to resting in the quiet suspense of God. If you find distraction running rampant, go back to the book—with the crucifix around your neck being held in hand—and read whatever sentences you see until the silence of His presence fills your mental prayer.
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
Mark 1 : 3
It is also out in the wilderness of these woods, alone, under a tree with nature as our only companion, where one comes to find distraction lacking. The sweeping serenity of these swollen white peaks blanketed by Autumn’s first snow, painted beneath the sight of November’s waning moonlight—this is the beauty of Your nature—and it is enough to keep this prayer of mine riding the quiet interior “powder day” of Your peace and my desire for hours at a time.
The absence of activity in active prayer is only apparent. Below the surface, the will of our mind is drawn into the orbit of a mystical activity that is deeply intense, which will flow furious into our being and bring forth eternal fruits.
There is no such prayer in which one does absolutely nothing. If you are doing nothing you are far from praying. On the other hand, if God is at the source of your bustling interior, the works of your faculties are beyond conscious judgment, and the results may not yet be seen or even understood.
Prayer is a simplified yet deep spiritual activity in which the mind and the will rest with a unified concentration upon God, turned inward to Him, intent within Him, and absorbed by His light, and as we gaze with adoration, as to say with silence towards Him that we have left everything by the wayside—no more expectations. It’s just You and I, and I shall go with the flow within these channels of Your joy, that You so graciously placed in a conscious stream in front of me.
What one needs most in these journeys filled with darkness is an unwavering trust in His Divine guidance, as well as the courage to risk everything for Him. In many ways the journey will sometimes seem like a foolish gamble. And you may well ramble upon many mistakes.
Humility and obedient submission to the guidance of Christ will neutralize the effects of your many mistakes. Even Christ himself wasn’t always right. But you must trust in God, who writes straight upon crooked lines and extracts great goodness away from the trenches of evil.
What matters most in prayer is not to always be right and seek external forgiveness, but for you to carry a heroic heart filled faithful with grace and with love. If God calls one to Him, and He subtly places a promise upon one with all the graces one needs to reach Him. One will be blindly faithful to said promise.
I have removed the like button moving forward. All these words need is your eyes. The comment section is open for business. Please feel free to reach me in the collective sense. Thank you for taking the time to read. Godspeed and God Bless.