Sister Carol Bernice told me once that when she milks the cows she whispers "Yah-weh" as she alternates hands milking the teats.
“Silence gives me freedom in both real time and psychic time. When I talk less, I see more. And silence gives me time to pray.”
“There is the danger of protecting ourselves from God by striving to be passive. The ‘I’ is very active in its attempt to surrender.”
Just as I’ve come to appreciate how seasons transform the land, I’ve also become aware of my internal landscape. The two seem bound together in many ways.
Prayer is not something we do first and foremost on our own. We pray with other Christians.
Just as an injured athlete needs to take a break, my friends needed to take some time to rest. And like the paralytic at Capernaum, they could depend on others' faith and not just their own.
We're all perpetually longing for love. Fortunate are those who realize early that another human being can't meet this unrequitable need. Even more fortunate are men and women of prayer who realize that peace comes by embracing the longing itself.
I have never felt comfortable praying. I almost feel I should put the word in quotes, as I'm never quite sure that what I do deserves the name.
Prayers linger in choir stalls, soak into walls. Centuries of prayer can make you feel buoyant in medieval European cathedrals. Gratitude settles over you like a benediction within busy urban shrines.