Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence.
The stars, the sun, the moon move in silence.
Silence gives us a new perspective.

~Mother Teresa

winter on the palouse
photography by permission
wendy cristina willis

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

learning to pray

When I was a little girl, I prayed, and my prayers went something like this: please don’t let it rain on my birthday party tomorrow, or please let me pass my history test, or maybe even please let my friend’s mother get well. Somehow in my little-girl mind the presence of God was a place of petition, a place of supplication.

As I grew, so too my prayers, and instead of a place of supplication, my place of prayer became a place of gratitude. In my prayers I gave thanks, thanks for the beauty that surrounds me, for the strength that fills me, for the gifts in my world. I became a place of gratitude.

My prayers, though, continued to change even as my perception of God and the Universe continued to amend. Now instead of supplication or thanks, my prayers were a place of worship, and the presence of God had become for me a place of adoration. I poured out praise, devotion, and honor; I was in a place of great light.

My prayers, ever changing and ever refining, continued to move until now my favorite place to be is a place of meditation…a place without supplication, a place without the giving of thanks, a place without worship or reverence…I am in a place without words and without thoughts, a place of silence with that same Presence I had so often addressed. My favorite place today is a place of simply being with the Quiet, the Empty, the Void (a word spoken, or even thought, is an interruption to our meeting). I am become more fully who I am when I am in this place.

I am not suggesting that I don’t from time to time breathe a prayer for a friend’s healing, that I don’t sometimes offer a prayer of thanks, that I don’t on occasion express love and reverence, but I am to say my greatest place of prayer is a place of complete silence.

I am in the house of mercy
and my heart
is a place of prayer


art by permission