Here’s the second of three posts relating our thoughts to the practice of unceasing prayer, the intentional awareness of God in each moment (it follows the post, The daily thought parade):
It was in the middle of all this that I realized I was praying. I wasn’t just thinking, I was prostrate before the unholy trinity of Hurry, Worry, and Vanity. My interior life was fully engaged, alert, and devoted to adoring this unholy Three unceasingly, from the moment my alarm buzzed me awake, until this very moment of awareness. And, I figured, they’d probably been at it all through the night as well.
Then in a moment of reverie, birthed by a sudden ray of light, I laughed out loud. St. Paul urged those who love God to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5.17), and “pray in the Spirit at all times” (Ephesians 6.18). But up till now, I’d considered them hyperbole, pious exaggeration, the enthusiasm of a saint. But in this flash of insight, it dawned on me that St. Paul’s advice wasn’t to be dismissed. I shouldn’t ask, “Can I pray without ceasing?” Instead, the real question is, “To What or to Whom do I pray unceasingly?”
At that moment, I figured that if unceasing, interior prayer to those unholy gods, Hurry, Worry, and Vanity, can rise so easily within me, why can’t I pray unceasingly to the Holy Trinity? Right then and there I wagered that if I can be this focused on worldly things and endlessly vexed by them, I could also be full of God, learning to rest in the Spirit, and in the midst of the active life that is mine, bring a sense of peace and wholeness and joy that transforms all of life.
A re-posting from November 9, 2009