Monday, December 1

Prayer


Prayer means different things to different people. It is interesting to see how people pray. Across the ages, people have made a conscious attempt to speak to the Divine. If that is prayer all about, then it is the very matter in which the modern day flocks are failing.

I have often noticed temples and mosques at the heart of busy commercial hubs and in the streets. It keeps me thinking of people who run between God and their business... who run between God and their daily anxieties. I have also seen tranquil settings and quit places with empty chapels.

For a modern city dweller, everyday is an unfinished day. I have seen and felt that every city dweller has his own reasons to be busy. There is no time for a conscious and planned routine of developing intimacy with God. It is common to see people flocking to develop any quick solutions for their problems: One-minute manager, One-day retreat to spirituality, One week training to speak fluent English or One month Yoga to real health. Many have attempted and succeeded in commercialising encapsulated programmes on daily living. The truth is ... how many of us can carry home such programmes and its methodology? They cannot live in us for more than a season. Making them a habit is difficult and often not achieved.

Prayer as a daily offering to God became a passion to me years ago. Hemmed by a hundred daily responsibilities, I kept prayer at a distance. There was no place to pray... not time to pray ... and no heart to pray. The morning came... the evening came... the day was over and it was time to rest. How fast my little days were!! Then, one day I turned ON the switch to pray.

It was the German theologian, Karl Rahner who composed a prayer that cuts through the day... he looks at a God who is right here in the middle of things with us. He says, “My soul has become a huge warehouse where day after day the trucks unload their crates without any plan or discrimination, to be piled helter-skelter in every available corner and cranny, until it is crammed full from top to bottom with trite, the commonplace, the insignificant, the routine...” Rahner is surprised at the daily “empty talks and pointless activity, idle curiosity and pretensions of importance that ... roll forward in a never-ending stream”. Not only for Rahner, this predicament is true for most of us. But then Rahner goes on... "I now see clearly that, it there is any path at all on which I can approach you, it must lead through the middle of my ordinary daily life... I must learn to have both ‘everyday’ and Your Day in the same day. In devoting myself to the works of this world, I learn to give myself to You, to possess You, the one and only thing, in everything... In You, all that has been scattered is reunited in Your Love all the diffusion of the day’s chores comes home again to the evening of Your unity....” I love to take prayer in that manner: prayer at the heart of my day... prayer that liberates me in the middle of everything. Yes, things get stuck in the warehouse of my heart and soul. Nevertheless, I learn to notice that God is in the middle of my warehouse... and He gives me strength to get on with the day.

Every time I notice a busy street with a temple or a mosque... I remind myself of the presence of God in the middle of my day.

1 comment:

shibu said...

Thank you for the blog, inspiring us to have faith in God. I think strong, severe, unquenchable faith in the loving kindness of God will enable us to live our lives effectively.

Shibu

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