Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Movement from Illusion to Prayer

This quote from Henri Nouwen's Reaching Out resonates in my soul.

"The movement from illusion to prayer requires a gradual detachment from all false ties and an increasing surrender to him from whom all good things come. It takes courage to move away from the safe place to the unknown ... giving up the familiar and reaching out with open arms toward him who transcends all our mental grasping and clinging makes us very vulnerable ... It is a sign of spiritual maturity when we can give up our illusory self-control and stretch out our hands to God. But it would be just another illusion too believe that reaching out to God will free us from pain and suffering. Often, indeed, it will take us where we rather would not go. But we know that without going there we will not find our life."

Over the last ten years, I have been on this wayfaring journey from illusion to prayer. It has not been easy, but it is so lifegiving to hear Nouwen and others articulate the transformation of the heart that I have been slowly experiencing. God is opening a whole world of grace, which brings both a peace beyond all understanding and a depth of pain and compassion for the hurting world.