Prayer is a word we take for granted. Ought we to do so? What do we mean by prayer? What does the word mean in the Christian context? Almost always when we talk about prayer we refer to something we do. From that standpoint, questions problems, confusion, discouragement and illusions multiply. For Burrows it is essential to correct this view. Our Christian knowledge assures us that prayer is essentially what God does, how God addresses us, looks at us. And what God is doing for us is giving us the Divine Self in love. What then is the core of the central message of the revelation of Jesus? It is the unconditional love of God for us, for each one of us. God the unutterable, incomprehensible Mystery, the Reality of all reality, the Life of all Life. And this means that divine Love desires to communicate its Holy Self to us. This is the richness of the vision of a contemplative nun who contradicts the heresy of so much modern writing about the spiritual like- namely that we reach God by running faster. The growing fascination for the public of the contemplative and monastic life is evidence of the profound appeal of this approach. For this there is a real hunger.
At its simplest we do no look for success so as to be assured that we do believe. We give ourselves over completely to divine love. Ultimately, we live for God and not for ourselves.
Ruth Burrows is a Carmelite Nun from Quiddenham in Norfolk. She is the author of a number of bestselling books including Guidelines for Mystical Prayer
1. Growth in Prayer; 2. Prayer that is Jesus; 3. The Human response to God; 4. The Way to perfection; 5. Doctor of the Dark Night; 6. Sustained Passion; 7. Alone with Him Alone; 8. A Stark Encounter with the Human Condition; 9. Consecrated Life.