I wrote this before the horrid news from Orlando. Mass shooting, chaos, emergency responders, blood donors, prayer vigils. Love is Love, I say, but sometimes it is hard to hold on to that.
For the following, I offer credit to Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki, In God’s Presence: Theological Reflections on Prayer (St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 1996)
What is the purpose of prayer?
How could God pay attention to such insignificant creatures?
Are we just talking to ourselves, our inner wise spirit?
How do we know prayer is communication with God?
How do we know that it’s God?
Questions take us deeper into faith
. . . away from belief in our beliefs
. . . to believe in a God who is more than our beliefs can say.
It is possible for a good prayer not to address anyone by name. After yoga classes with Jogi Bhagat, he closes with prayers and we repeat each line after him.
May all be happy.
May all be healthy.
May there be no distress on earth.
May there be peace everywhere.
May all our actions lead us to make this happen.
May it be so.
“Where is God in all this for you now?” It’s a typical question posed by my spiritual director. Here is today’s answer, as always subject to change!
For me God is in my heart along with all the joy and sorrow and especially with the confusion, trying to fan a flame of certainty or certitude or clarity. Then if God is within me and all beings and the universe and bigger than the cosmos, God is the heartbeat of it all; the electrical impulse that keeps us going (until it doesn’t–but then, it’s still pulsing), and of course God is linked to the breath–breath of life and cessation of breath (yet it is still flowing all around us).
In the flow . . . let it all go . . . breathe in peace / God . . . breathe out love / God . . . “all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well” (Julian of Norwich).
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.” When I pay attention to the breath of life and the heartbeat within everything I believe in the power of God and I believe in everlasting love that powers and sustains us all. Rest in that love.