I have been reading Richard Wagamese’s book of poetry – Embers – very slowly; a page or two at a time. A good friend gave it to me for Christmas. I find it fascinating how certain books find me at just the right time. Richard’s writing about his spiritual journey has given me a beautiful and unexpected gift. He opened my eyes to the possibility of praying again.
It has been years since I felt the desire to pray. I grew up in the Catholic Church and then spent many years in the evangelical church. Both taught me that faith meant knowing and believing – I was required to give intellectual assent to certain facts – the virgin birth, the existence of heaven and hell, and most of all, that believing in the divinity of Jesus, is the only way to be saved. And if you were not saved….well…you were doomed.
Richard’s words showed me that it was possible to pray in a new way. Prayer that can come from the great unknown. Prayer based on not knowing anything at all. Not prayer that comes from a faith that excludes all those who do not believe the same things. The most freeing words of all, I have found, are – “I don’t know.”
It is possible to pray to the great unknown – the great mystery. The real effect of such prayer is in the opening that happens in my own heart, when I pray. Anything else will be the icing on the cake.
A new prayer to begin my days:
Spirit of the Universe, in whom we are all one
I surrender to your constant current.
Open my mind that I may be free of judgement and accept the world as it is.
Open my heart to give and receive love.
Open my hands to give and receive blessings.
Guide my feet on my path today and open my eyes to the miracles along the way.
I ask these things with a humble and grateful heart.
Amen, amen, amen.
Aah woman, aah woman, aah woman.