Sunday, September 6, 2009

Show me how to pray

Jesus is the Word Incarnate. Jesus is God made flesh. God manifested as human in Jesus. That’s Truth for me.

For too long, I couldn’t get a grasp on what I saw as major flaws in that truth as presented in Jesus’ Good News and God’s interactions with us before the Incarnation. I decided I needed to simplify Jesus’ Good News; define “good news.”

Warning ~ TANGENT!

Great little book: NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING six-word memoirs by famous & obscure writers. The challenge presented to the contributors as outlined in the introduction was “submit short, short life stories for a contest - a battle of brevity.”

Over dinner with friends ~ amazing things happen over dinner, ask Fr. Bill Faiella or his book, Sharing Meals Heals: An Italian 'Menu' For Inner Peace ~ I read my favorite Six-Word Memoir to my guests, Colin Stanton’s “He knew her bruises would fade.”

So, what’s Colin’s story? One could suggest he is a wife beater. Another could suggest he is a compassionate father talking about his daughter’s bruised heart after the love of her 12 year old life said, “Let’s be friends.” How ‘bout a younger brother sharing his thoughts to his sister after her fall from a tree?

I suggest we do the same thing with our Triune God. Each of us will read into the Word the Truth closest to our experience. Be Free!!!! I wonder if this is what The Ignatian Exercises might be about?

OK where was I?

Oh yeah...What is the Good News for me? three words: GOD IS LOVE.

The simplicity brought me to prayer...I find God is Love everywhere. Praise God.

I find prayer practice in this Old Testament story. (does someone have better terms for me than Old Testament and New Testament?) Please tell me what you think.

Warning ~ TANGENT!

I was on retreat once. The leader asked us to “tell the story of (prescribed scriptural passage).” Each of us grabbed our Bibles. He asked us to put them away, “You know the story. Just tell us.” He suggested that we will remember from years of hearing the story and reading the story what we remember because THAT is what we get from it; perhaps, THAT is what we need to get from it...THAT is what we need to explore further...kinda like the first tangent in this entry?

Yet, here I go copying directly from The Jerusalem Bible rather than just telling you the story...

Genesis 3:8-13

The (One) and (the Other One) heard the sound of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from Yahweh God among the trees of the garden. But Yahweh God called to the (two). 'Where are you?' (Yahweh God) asked. 'I heard the sound of you in the garden,' (The One) replied. 'I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.' 'Who told you that you were naked?' (Yahweh God) asked. 'Have you been eating from the tree I forbade you to eat?'
The (One) replied, 'It was the (Other One) you put with me; (that) gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.' Then Yahweh God said to the (Other One), 'Why did you do that?' The (Other One) replied, 'The snake tempted me and I ate.'

Whew...I am first struck by God walking around in the day’s coolness. This EVEN after knowing what the first two people were doing ~ God is all-knowing. I find this to be the first evidence of God is all-forgiving. God is Love.

God invites us to pray, regardless of what we do/did, “Where are you?”

I hope I never hide from God in my sin when I hear God ‘walking in the garden.’ I hope I will always answer God’s question honestly regardless of how hard the answer might be.

God continues in prayer, “Who told you that you were naked?" with me here...I wonder if the original sin might...just found here (if in-fact Original Sin is more than tradition): The one blamed the other. No responsibility owned. Oh my back…

Later let’s talk about God’s Will as Jesus. I suggest: maintain integrity to the message ~ God is Love ~ regardless of how We are received…’even to death. Death on a cross.’

God keeps asking questions and I keep making excuses for my behavior. Instead of engaging, I 'hide in the garden's trees.'

I wonder what could happen if ‘when I eat of the Knowledge Tree’s Fruit’ I answer God, “Whoa...I know I am naked now. Be with me so I use it best. Help me to be with You especially now. I have all this new knowledge. What do I do now?” Imagine if I were to run toward God with my questions rather than hide…

Oh my back...breathe...feel my heart beat and sigh…

This is too much. I’ll digest this for awhile and get to another story later. If you want to work with me, here are two stories: The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11: 1-8 for those of us not quite ready to trust how we hold the story in our hearts) and when Abraham talks with God about Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18 starting with line 20.

Peace...let's sit back…feel our hearts beat and sigh

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have no trouble saying the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and an Act of Contrition. I have no trouble telling God all the things that concern me and asking him to "make them right". I have had a hard time kneeling in church just quietly - rather I feel I must fill the silence with words. Then all of a sudden I don't need words, I just look at the altar and the beautiful surroundings and the silence closes in around me and I feel him so close.

Each morning when I look outside for the first time and see the beautiful blue sky and green grass and the butterflies landing on my flowers, I am overcome and without even realizing or planning what I am going to say, I find myself thanking Him for all these gifts and my tears flow with gratitude. I feel as if these were given to my by my Father because I am his child and he loves me. It gives him pleasure to please me.

Now I realize that I pray each day more than I thought when it comes upon me "right out of the blue".

I am going to read Genesis ll:1-8 and Genesis 18 this afternoon on my porch with no interruptions other than the birds singing and my cat purring. I look forward to responding to you.