Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Good Reflection on Sacredspace.ie today...

I very rarely look at the site (I might change that) but I really like the meditation today:

The Holy Spirit - not yourself - is the main person in your prayer, and is at work in you when you pray (Romans 8:26). This puts me in mind of an old Latin tag for an extended time of prayer such as a retreat, namely, “vacatio Deo”: it means idleness for God, emptiness before God, a vacation or holiday with God. The time you spend in prayer is time put beyond usefulness to yourself.

Prayer is not useful: it is of a different order.

Read the whole thing here.

I think one of the wonderful things about prayer is that it is a brake on the utilitarian, exploitative attitude towards life and the world. Prayer is not productive in any obvious sense, though of course nothing could be more productive in a profound sense. Isn't it funny that it is Christianity, with its rituals and holidays and other observances, which has probably been the most powerful curb on the Western world's obsessive drive towards money-making, pleasure-seeking, and frenetic activity in general? I remember reading one book about the "golden age" of domestic service in twentieth-century England. Time and again, in this book, it was mentioned that the servants looked forward to church services because it was pretty much their only guaranteed break.

It's funny how, whenever the idea that one can worship God without all these cumbersome rituals and seasons gains in popularity, it's not long before the time saved is being devoted to something very different to religion.

It is customary for conservative Catholics like me to mock "hippie priests". So I think it's only fair to hail Catholic priests, and especially the more left-wing type (who don't necessarily depart from orthodoxy), as pretty much the only hippies we have left, the only people still inclined to hand out "chill pills" to the culture. After all, the hippies weren't wrong about everything. Every heresy contains a grain of truth.

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