Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Longest Journey . . .

is the one that takes us deep within.

It is this inner journey where we encounter God in the most profound way, because at our core is where God resides. This journey involves spending a lot of time in prayer. And to me, the best form of prayer for the inner journey isn't verbal, conversational prayer, but silent, contemplative prayer.

I read an interesting quote by Abraham Joshua Heschel about prayer that in essence says that it is conceit to think that we can actually talk to God.  Prayer is more of an immersion in God, being enveloped and surrounded by God's love and mercy.  

That is the best definition of contemplative prayer.  When I practice contemplation that is exactly what I feel,  I feel as though I am immersed in God's love, totally surrounded by it and gaining strength from it in the silence of my prayer time.

My favorite analogy for God is the ocean.  I am a fish in the ocean and God is the water that surrounds me and sustains me in every way.  In it I move and breath and have my being.  I am so comfortable in my surroundings that I sometimes forget that everything that I have comes from God's love.   As I meditate on this image it helps me to go deeper into myself and uncover my dependence on God and my deep and abiding love for his tender mercies.

Don't be afraid to try contemplative prayer,  just remember that in this case, the longest journey, begins with one image.


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