Mystery of Prayer

We still need so much more when it comes to prayer and relationship with God. I think that Thomas Merton said it best:

Prayer is the truest guarantee of personal freedom. We are most truly free in the free encounter of our hearts with God in His word and in receiving His Spirit which is the Spirit of truth and freedom. The Truth that makes us free is not merely a matter of information about God but the presence in us of a divine person by love and grace, bringing us into the intimate personal life of God as His Sons [and Daughters] by adoption. This is the basis of all prayer and all prayer should be oriented to this mystery of adoption in which the Spirit in us recognizes the Father. The cry of the Spirit in us, the cry of recognition that we are Sons [and Daughters] in the Son, is the heart of our prayer and the great motive of prayer. Hence recollection is not the exclusion of material things but attentiveness to the Spirit in our inmost heart. The contemplative life should not be regarded as the exclusive prerogative of those who dwell within monastic walls. All can seek and find this intimate awareness and awakening which is a gift of love and a vivifying touch of creative and redemptive power, that power which raised Christ from the dead and which cleanses us from dead works to serve the living God. It should certainly be emphasized today that prayer is a real source of personal freedom in the midst of a world in which we are dominated by massive organizations and rigid institutions which seek only to exploit us for money and power. Far from being the cause of alienation, true religion in spirit is a liberating force that helps us to find ourselves in God.

Thomas Merton. The Hidden Ground of Love. Letters, Volume 1. William H. Shannon. editor. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1985: 159.

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