It has been said that the one journey that ultimately matters is the journey into the place of stillness deep within one’ s self. To reach that place is to be at home…to fail to reach it is to be forever restless.
Coming Home to God in prayer
Prayer is our highest fulfillment. It is the highest art of living. It is what we should naturally enjoy doing; for we were made for God for this communication…for this communion. Prayer is the door that opens up into the mystery of God. It is not a striving as much as a trustful opening of the doors of our spirits to let God enter. It is a listening and a deepening of the consciousness that God is present and with us always.
St. Teresa of Jesus describes prayer this way,
Prayer … is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him whom we know loves us.
God calls us to share abundantly in His life. Our desire for and development of a spiritual life, lived with Him, and centered in faith, hope and love, is our response to this call. The foundation of this spiritual life is first and foremost a seeking for God through prayer This seeking or journey of love leads us into a place of stillness and grace which is deep within our soul…where God is hidden.
“To find a hidden thing one must enter very secretly into that same hidden place where it is…And since our dear Lord is the treasure hidden in your soul…it is fitting that like the wise merchant who gave up everything to find the treasure hidden in the field, we need to give up everything, forget everything, withdraw from everything to enter into the depths of our soul, the place where God hides Himself.” –St. John of the Cross
From its very nature then, our prayer is something intimate and interior. This heartfelt prayer is not complicated. It is the breath of the soul that loves its God. The soul seeks Him, wants to be with Him, remain in His presence and recognizes that everything comes from Him, lives in Him. Prayer is this means to respond to Jesus’ loving request, “Make your home in Me as I make mine in you.” (John 15:4)
Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity elaborates more on this request of Jesus:
Such is Christ’s last wish, his supreme prayer before He returns to the Father. He wants us to be there also where He is; not only during eternity but already in time which is eternity already begun…The Trinity, that is our dwellling place, our ‘home’ the paternal house which we must never leave…
As our relationship deepens, our ever growing desire for God increases our capacity to receive Him, which over time transforms our simple prayer to a life of loving contemplation, companionship, and, ultimately, union with Him. This ‘abiding in God’ which strives to live according to his holy will is the only way to make a continual prayer of one’s life.
“I feel I’m filled with Him. There is nothing that separates us. He is the little home where I dwell… He is my heaven on earth.”
St. Teresa of the Andes