Recently I have been visiting a few young friends who are going through life-altering situations in their late twenties and early thirties; each of them is unique in both the burden and pain they carry – each of them calling upon God for their own “touchstone” of healing and hope. As they are casting off from the shore of their spiritual adolescence and moving more deeply into the ocean of God’s reality, they are finding the work of Evelyn Underhill a guide and a help. There is something in Underhill’s conversational tone, as she explains profound wisdom, that resonates with these seekers. It has given me a profound reassurance that not all things old are of relative value in the midst of the cyber revolution. We still have to eat, sleep, clean the house, go to work, cut the grass, and do the laundry; as well as take care of others in the midst of learning to take of ourselves. Not to mention learning to let God take care of us in the midst of the whole. Underhill is able to find heaven’s touch, the footsteps of the Carpenter, and the promise of God in the midst of a daily routine; and it is clear that she is striking notes that ring deeper than tweets, comments, likes, and emojis. There is something about someone coming into our daily life and simply pointing a finger, and saying with clarity, “God is there . . . God is talking to you right there . . . right there at the kitchen sink and pushing the vacuum cleaner. God is there . . . right there when you can offer a smile and blessing to the person who is ostensibly offering you “customer service.”” I am hopeful and leaning into the future with a sense that a few of the old compasses still work, and that the hunger and sickness of our souls will not be filled or healed so much with new techniques and technological fireworks, but rather with some attention paid to the ancient verities, the classical virtues, and simply falling into the gentle, daily guidance of a merciful friend and redeemer. Many Blessings and Godspeed.
Never let yourself think that because God has given you many things to do for Him pressing routine jobs, a life full up with duties and demands of a very practical sort—that all these need separate you from communion with Him. God is always coming to you in the Sacrament of the Present Moment. Meet and receive Him there with gratitude in that sacrament; however unexpected its outward form may be receive Him in every sight and sound, joy, pain, opportunity and sacrifice.
1 thought on “Some Practical Prayer”
Once, again, you carry forth words that comfort and inspire. I was one of those “young people” years ago that was seeking and weeping when you responded with the Word in a meaningful way that transformed me. I couldn’t help but see you in words Richard Rohr wrote this morning:
Here is the principle: We can only transform people to the degree that we have been transformed. We can only lead others as far as we ourselves have gone. We have no ability to affirm or to communicate to another person that they are good or special until we know it strongly ourselves.
You led and still do all of us on paths you have already trod. God bless you and yours,
Your friend and follower,