Thunderstorms crackled and roared through the area early this morning, leaving puddled walkways, downed branches, and, for the moment at least, no breeze at all. Our resident chipmunk darts past as if the sun were shining brightly. Overhead, flat-iron gray clouds are pocked with wisps of light. More thunderstorms are forecast.
Today’s topic is prayer, something we in monastic life should know quite a lot about! Abbot John references Luke 11, noting that the prayer Jesus teaches the apostles is very short and simple. The parables surrounding it – including the one about the friend who would not get up and give his friend food because it was night and the household was sleeping – give profound insight. (Luke 11:5-13)
Here’s the insight: The homeowner finally rose and gave the friend all the food he needed because of the latter’s persistence in asking for help. Jesus concludes by saying, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” In other words, don’t give up.
Prayer is conversation with God; it reflects relationship with God. Be persistent; pray always. In ceaseless dialogue, we develop trust and faith that God is with us always.
As Benedictine Sisters, we seek to pray always, during Liturgy of the Hours 3 times daily, during daily Eucharist, during daily Lectio Divina. While we walk, sing, and listen to one another. Life itself becomes prayer.
Life becomes prayer when we see God in all. In the chipmunk and in the clouds, in the rain and in the shining leaves that dance outside the window. Life becomes prayer when we see God in those we like … and in those we do not like. Life becomes prayer when we breathe God in and breathe God out: “God before me, God behind me, God above me, God below me, God beside me, God always in my heart.”