Thursday, July 30, 2009
"It is prayer that leads us to such an appreciation of Divine Providence that the soul can reach this state of abandonment. Prayer opens the gates of the treasures of the Divine will. It is founded on Divine Providence because our only reason for living is to do the will of God. We pray, not just for what we want but in order, above all, to be able to accomplish the will of God.
As we pray we begin to see into the transcendent darkness of Divine things. God illumines the soul that prays. When the hand of God seems to deal out only adversities, bitterness and afflictions, we are made to turn to Him for help in our trials.
We learn God and His ways; we learn humility in dealing with Him; we learn to revere His majesty because we see that in our prosperity we were walking in darkness, and if not in serious sin, at least we were living for ourselves, with that dullness to Divine realities which can never be cleared away without the cleansing power of suffering. It is through prayer that we penetrate into the secret and hidden mysteries of the Divine will. We see and experience that we only knew abstractly before, namely, that God's infinite ways are so much above us that we must suffer before we can see.
We learn that there is grace for every trial; that God really is with us in suffering. He never presses down without holding us up with the other hand. No, we may not see where we are going but we need see when we are being led? The light that is given may not be exactly the light that we want, the light that will answer our demands to understand why He is being so hard on us. The light that we are given shows us that we are sinners and we dare not demand to know. We are illumined by a light that will feed us with the sweet peace of humility. we understand that we can trust His desire to do good for us; that what He takes away only seems to take away in order to give us something greater. We learn that what He does not grant in one way He will grant in another. If He closes a door it is to keep us from going through it to our own loss. If He shuts up our path with 'square stones' (Lamentations 3:9) it is to keep us from going astray. If He hinders and brings to nothing all out plans and aspirations, it is to show us how much we were working for our own profit. If He lets our lives turn to failure, it is to keep us from sin.
We come to understand that He wants us to love Him and cling to Him in situations we cannot understand. Peaceful abandonment is always profitable to us. Through it we see that it is His merciful love that is pursuing us through trials and adversities. He wants to bring the proud heart to surrender; He wants to soothe the fearful heart with trust - because the proud one does not want to surrender to a power above himself or to admit his need to depend on God's loving providence... and the fearful one mistrusts his own ability to remain in grace because he has not yet learned by experience that it is God Who keeps him in grace. "
-- The Pathways of Prayer: Communion with God by Sr Immaculata, ocd