+ Today I am devoting myself to the spiritual practice of prayer which I regard as the comprehensive term for all spiritual practice.
Openness is essential. Henri J.M. Nouwen (1932-1996), a great spiritual teacher, spoke eloquently about this practice:
"To pray means to open your hands before God. It means slowly relaxing the tension which squeezes your hands together and accepting your existence with an increasing readiness, not as a possession to defend, but as a gift to receive. Above all, prayer is a way of life which allows you to find a stillness in the midst of the world where you open your hands to God's promises and find hope for yourself, your neighbor, and your world. In prayer, you encounter God not only in the small voice and the soft breeze, but also in the midst of the turmoil of the world, in the distress and joy of your neighbor, and in the loneliness of your own heart.
"Prayer leads you to see new paths and to hear new melodies in the air. Prayer is the breath of your life which gives you the freedom to go and to stay where you wish and to find the many signs which point out the way to a new land. Praying is not simply some necessary compartment in the daily schedule of a Christian or a source of support in a time or need, nor is it restricted to Sunday mornings or mealtimes. Praying is living. It is eating and drinking, action and rest, teaching and learning, playing and working. Praying pervades every aspect of our lives. It is the unceasing recognition that God is wherever we are, always inviting us to come closer and to celebrate the divine gift of being alive.”
Keep praying. Keep celebrating “the divine gift of being alive.” Be open to all kinds of possibilities.
+ Since JW56 I have been to England and Wales and, closer to home, the Adirondacks and the Berkshires. My life has been affected deeply by the deaths of my wonderful mother-in-law, Dorothy Hann, and my wonderful sister, Anita Solomon.