There is only one thing wrong with the traditional definition of prayer. “Prayer” the old teaching said, was “the lifting of our hearts and minds to God.” As if God were some regal, distant judge outside ourselves. But science – with its new perception that matter and spirit are of a piece, sometimes particles, sometimes energy – suggests that God is not on a cloud somewhere imperious and suspecting. God is the very Energy that animates us. God is not male humanity writ large. God is the Spirit that leads us and drives us on. God is the voice within us calling us to Life. God is the Reality trying to come to fullness within us, both individually and together. It is to that cosmic God, that personal, inner, enkindling God, that we pray.
Joan Chittister, OSB
Who has known the mind of God?
Examine your concept of God. Has it changed? How do you pray?
The journey of prayer for Franciscans is the discovery of God at the center of our lives. We pray not to acquire a relationship with God as if acquiring something that did not previously exist. Rather, we pray to disclose the image of God in which we are created, the God within us, that is, the one in whom we are created and in whom lies the seed of our identity. We pray so as to discover what we already have—“the incomparable treasure hidden in the field of the world and of the human heart.(St. Clare)”
You are above me, O God
You are within.
You are in all things
yet contained by no thing.
Teach me to seek You in all that has life,
that I may see You as the Light of light.
Teach me to search for You in my own depths
that I may find You in every living soul.
J. Phillip Newell
We are all grasping after the ungraspable which for me is the extravagant love of God who is Source of All Being, the Eternal Word and the Creator Spirit.
Cletus Wessels, OP
Holy mystery who is source, sustaining power, and goal of the world cannot be confined to any one set of images, but transcends them all.
Elizabeth Johnson, CS
The metaphorical shift from power to energy moves us toward deeper levels of understanding and engagement…we encounter not a controlling, judgmental God, but an inviting inspiring sense of Holy Mystery that permeates and animates everything that exists.
Diarmuid O’Murch ,MSC
Authentic faith originates and ends in inner stillness where alone the abyss of Mystery can unfold.
Barbara Fiand, SND