Monday, August 11, 2008
Some Words of Thomas Merton on Prayer
It's a risky thing to pray and the danger is that our very prayers get between God and us. The great thing in prayer is not to pray, but to go directly to God.... at the very root of your existence, you are inconstant and immediate contact with the infinite power of God.
There is no such thing as a kind of prayer in which you do absolutely nothing. If you are doing nothing you are not praying.
Prayer is the movement of trust, of gratitude, of adoration, or of sorrow, that places us before God, seeing both Him and ourselves in the light of His infinite truth, and moves us to ask Him for the mercy, the spiritual strength, the material help, that we all need.
The man whose prayer is so pure that he never asks God for anything does not know who God is, and does not know who he is himself: for he does not know his own need of God.
All true prayer somehow confesses our absolute dependence on the Lord of life and death. It is, therefore, a deep and vital contact with Him whom we know not only as Lord but as Father. It is when we pray truly that we really are. Our being is brought to a high perfection by this.
- Thomas Merton