Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Discover the presence of God - have a prayer life

Vacare Deo translates literally as vacating for God. It is a significant part of the process of transformation for it disposes the individual to putting into practice what God wants in any situation. It entails being able to see reality with the eyes of God and so being enabled to see reality with the eyes of God and so being enabled to act with integrity in any situation. Oftentimes, the reason why we cannot see as God sees is because our hearts have fallen in love with what is not wholesome. Puritas cordis or purity of heart is both a fruit and source of the process of transformation and allows us to discard whatever is not useful for the journey of life.

It is becoming clearer, then, that contemplation is about being immersed in reality in order to discover the presence of God who is already in every person and situation. Hopefully you are agreeing with me in believing that this understanding of contemplation is both attractive and accessible to us all. We now must briefly explore the obstacles to the flourishing of this attractive interpretation.


We are all busy people. Every day there are a thousand and one duties to be performed and time is precious. It can quite easily happen that amidst a very busy schedule, what goes to the wall is my prayer time. It must be clear from all that we have said thus far that if personal prayer goes to the wall, even for the best of reasons, the journey of transformation which is itself contemplation will suffer significantly. I cannot be a contemplative if I am not a person of regular intimacy with the Lord. In order to keep personal prayer alive in my life, I may need to re-establish my priorities. Not always either easy or pleasant, this insistence on a good prayer life is a non-negotiable.”

n Eucharist and Contemplation an essay by Brian McKay, OCarm in Hidden Riches- The Eucharist in the Carmelite Tradition edited by Eltin Griffin, OCarm


Anne said...

This is right, prayer does go to the wall when other issues take precedence. Prayer is non-negotiable. I love the easy advice of Brother Lawrence, I try to turn everything I am doing all day long into a prayer, with my mind constantly on Jesus, my thoughts a never-ending conversation with Him.

Anonymous said...

This is so wonderful Sister! I truly pray for this...to see everything through God's eyes...to empty myself so as to be filled with Him. I hope you will be posting more from this book : )

Rebecca said...

Lovely post. Vacating for God! I like that. I think that for me the challenge to discovering God's presence in everyone and every situation lies in remaining calm and interiorly peaceful. When my emotions run on high I can't see what He has set before me. Always striving for that purity of heart! Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister, A Big Texas Thank You for today's posting. It is very beautiful and speaks to the human heart that longs for "Truth." Only when we really place our Lord first and foremost in our lives will we really see the transformation taking place. In the midst of so much suffering, problems eg. personal or otherwise I cannot understand how one doesn't see the need for God in their lives. Jesus is the one that sees us thru EVERYTHING and He is their waiting ever so patiently in the Tabernacle for our visit. To console Him and to give Him our love and our lives. May I learn to quiet the noise of the world and listen ever so intently to the voice of the Good Shepherd that loves us so. Jesus teach me to be a simple and humble servant to you and my brothers and sisters. Thank you dear Sister for this apostolate you so tirelessly and lovingly share with us. A blessed day to you and all who visit. The Child Jesus and His Holy Mother shower their love upon the world! John K.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sister, By God's grace I have just found your site. I have a great hunger for spiritual sustenance and for help on my journey. You are a light for me when you speak of God. With thanks and prayers.Pia

ocd sister said...

I'm glad to "hear" that so many of you have enjoyed this post. Lord willing, I will be offering more selections from this book. There are so many spiritually nourishing books that people don't know about... If there's a particular book you'd like to see featured (e.g., you can't get it at a bookstore or library), please let me know via e-mail. I may be able to offer some selections at some point if we have the book in our library. Preference given to Carmelitana, of course. :)

I'd like to ask all of you to please pray for me and my community. Actually, please pray for all religious. It is very easy to say, "Oh, this is nice. I'll type it up." May I (and all of us) come to learn and grow from the things I blog. All priests and religious are in great need of the prayerful support of the faithful.

Please be patient with me. I blog in little minutes here and there. In the cloister, Mass, the Office, and obedience take precedence over everything else. Also, keep in mind that I purposely present the selections at random. I may miss a memorial of the Church here and there. So please forgive the oversight.

Please pray for me. God bless!

Julia said...

Thank you so much for this...I'm so grateful for your blog. I hope it is alright that I posted a link to your post on my blog.

ocd sister said...

I don't mind at all. Quite the contrary. In fact, I was considering today whether all the accolades are feeding my vanity! I pray not.

Everything I present in the blog is found in books and meant to be shared. Anyone reading this blog should feel free to share whatever they like with other people.

I appreciate the link you placed back to this blog. God reward you!

Please pray for me. God bless!

Linda said...

Sister, when you say, "I was considering today whether all the accolades are feeding my vanity!" I could only chuckle to myself. It is so true how human it is to want praise. But then again it gives us a chance to praise God and be thankful for those in our lives who remind us of what is truly important.
I too feel like Anne and God has led me by way of the Practice of the Presence of God by brother Lawrence. Life is too complex to be trying to figure out if I am doing God's will or not but too accept that each moment whether at prayer or work I am in God's presence and all to bring him glory.
You are in my prayers Sister,
God bless,