social spark Aisling Beatha: Prayer


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Monday, January 19, 2009


From "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning.

A little child cannot do a bad colouring; nor can a child of God do a bad prayer. "A father is delights when his little one, leaving off her toys and friends, runs to him and climbs into his arms. As he holds his little one close to him, he cares little whether the child is looking around, her attention flitting from one thing to another, or just settling down to sleep. Essentially the child is choosing to BE WITH her father, confident of the Love, the care, the security that is hers in those arms.
Our prayer is much like that. We settle down in our Fathers arms, in his loving hands. Our mind, our thoughts, our imagination may flit about here and there; we might even fall asleep; but essentially we are choosing for this time to remain intimately WITH our father, giving ourselves to him, receiving his love and care, letting him enjoy us as he will.
It is a very simple prayer. It is very childlike prayer. It is prayer that opens us out to all the delights of the Kingdom."

Jesus' tenderness is not in any way determined by how we pray or what we are or do. in order to free us for compassion toward others, Jesus calls us to accept his compassion in our own lives, to become gentle, caring, compassionate, and forgiving toward ourselves in our failure and need.
Compassion for others is not a simple virtue because it avoids snap judgements - right or wrong, good or bad, hero or villain; it seeks truth in all its complexity. Genuine compassion means that in empathising with the failed plans and uncertain lives of the other person, we send out the vibration, "YES, ragamuffin, I understand, I've been there too."

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