Stand and Pray


Stand patiently and pray steadfastly, brushing off the impacts of worldly cares and all thoughts; for they distract and worry you in order to disturb the impetus of your prayer.   ~   St. Nilus of Sinai


           The week found its end in gales and whips of wind. Everything seemed to be quivering and shaking. Nothing was firm, strong on its foundations. It was hard to stand upright against the winds that pushed strong against hope and joy. I would have fallen harder had two little pearls from old days not come by.

Your children are your prayer

Thy Will be done

          Your children are your prayer were the words of an old Irish priest to a caring but exhausted mother who had told him she had no time to pray. These old words testify to the mystical meaning of sacrifice. They came to visit in the cheery sunlit breezes one morning late this week, to ready me for the change that was to come. When I received sad but not unexpected news later, the ache went deep. But then, I remembered Your children are your prayer. So, I arose and went to my household tasks. In them, I found a quiet against the rising tempests birthed by that news.

          And in that stillness of simple sacrifice, came the second life pearl,

Thy Will be done.

          To tell me the time for being out in the open was done for now. That I needed to retreat and seek my Lord’s Will in the cloister of my heart.

          For a time, I obeyed.

          Unfortunately, soon, I forgot. I forgot to seek His will. I forgot to listen out for His voice. I went ahead with old plans. And by doing that, I left the cave and went out into the open, where the winds wilded and whipped.

          Of course, I got hurt. Hurt in life is inevitable but when you leave the Will of God, when God does not ask you to welcome suffering, you are courting a hurt that is not willed. This hurt is different. There is an emptiness and futility about it.

          Stand patiently and pray steadfastly came last night as I wandered about seeking my Lord. It was a little light God slipped under the door of my heart, to point me back to the inner cloister I should never have left without His bidding.







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