aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

A word about prayer

When I was in seminary, I bought a little paperback book in a Catholic bookstore. It was called On Becoming a Musical, Mystical Bear, by someone named Fr. Matthew Fox. Sort of leftover hippie-ish spirituality, I thought. It was even stranger than that. (Later on, I learned that Fr. Fox was the creator of something called Creation Spirituality, that he lost his teaching authority -- or dropped it, depending on whom you ask -- when his orthodoxy was challenged by Cardinal Ratzinger [the future Pope Benedict XVI]. He then left the RCC and became an Episcopalian. Not quite my sort of bear.)

Well, I didn't know much about spiritual formation back in the 1970s, and I was eager to learn from any source I could. I didn't get much out of On Becoming a Musical, Mystical Bear, but I did remember one line that sank deep within me: "Prayer is a radical response to life."

It is. Everyone says Do this, do that. "Don't just stand there, do something!" So, it's radical to say, "Don't just do something, stand there!" And pray. Pray as your first response, pray as you develop your response, pray as your final response. To everything. Make your whole life into a prayer lifted up to God.

By all means, do. Do with all your might. But mere action never changes the world, because it doesn't change you. Prayer can do that. Take it from this musical, mystical bear.

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