Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12 – Thank You, Andrew Murray

It’s all very well to determine upon a course of spiritual devotion, but Brother Andrew Murray cuts to the heart of the matter:

“Christians often complain that private prayer is not what it should be. They feel weak and sinful, the heart is cold and dark; it is as if they have so little to pray, and in that little no faith or joy. They are discouraged and kept from prayer by the thought that they cannot come to the Father as they ought or as they wish.”

Is not this the very attitude that keeps us distant from devotion? We say, “We know we should, but we’re just so busy!”, and yet we find time to spend with people, not nearly so lovely and loving as Jesus Christ, and we watch our days slip away from us, engaged in activities that are frightfully mindless and without any personal gain at all, while the King of the Universe waits to see our countenance, which He calls lovely, and to hear our voices, which He calls sweet.

Hear Andrew Murray’s remedy . . . it is the abbatial cure:

“Child of God! Listen to your teacher. He tells you that when you go to private prayer your first thought must be: The Father is in secret, the Father waits me there. Just because your heart is cold and prayerless, get you into the presence of the loving Father. As a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth you. Do not be thinking of how little you have to bring to God, but of how much He wants to give you. Just place yourself before, and look up into, His face; think of His love, His wonderful, tender, pitying love. Just tell Him how sinful and cold and dark all is: it is the Father’s loving heart will give light and warmth to yours. O do what Jesus says: Just shut the door, and pray to thy Father which is in secret. Is it not wonderful: to be able to go alone with God the infinite God. And then to look up and say: My Father!”

The Abbess has no better suggestion, no more mystical advice, but this she may offer: this is the monastic model, the reason why monasticism works. Those who flee to the cloister have done no more than those who will live in this place, this Cor Unum, alone with the God Who loves them with an everlasting love.

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