E human beings are a mixture of complexity and simplicity; we get torn between hurrian cravings which are material and earthbound, and human cravings which are spiritual and do not "end on earth."
How are we to develop and harmonise the whole of us, taking into account all the varieties of desire in our nature? The simple answer is to live to the fullest the human life we have. It is not an answer which carries us much further; but it is true all the same.
At a time of doubt and disbelief, when even religion is preaching secularisation, there is also a counter-movement, the driving force of which is man's sheer need for God. Where shall we find him? Is he to he found at all? How shall we find him?
It may seem mad to make such a statement today. However, if you look more closely at the world around you, you may well see signs.
The reason for this book is that in the fullness of human life, the way lies inward in an existence widely called Prayer. 1 say "widely" because in the end it is coexistent with the whole of living. But unfortunately it is often narrowed down and misunderstood and becomes an occasional exercise, even among so-called religious people.
Vbegin to pray, or to carry on from where you are, you must believe in prayer, and you must be prepared to give up some of yourself in terms of time and effort. It will often be boring and seem "not worth while," a waste of time. But you must keep on. Daily regularity is of the essence. Persevere for however long God may allow until there is a breakthrough. It is not easy to do more than say "keep on,"because it will come, but 1 cannot explain how. In God's time, you will be flooded with a "sense " of it all. No one can teach you this, but you can experience it from God.
You must take down your defences, or allow them to be taken down. You must accept entering into darkness, with the act of faith that this darkness is creative. With Christ, with God, you must be stripped defenceless.
It is your contact with God in Christ, your being in his presence or company which enables him to infuse you with himself, with love, and which draws forth love from you in return.
Whatever means you use, or allow to be used in you, the ultimate goal is union of yourself with God, a union of love so closely complete that you can say with St. Paul: "I live now not I, but Christ lives in me," and also: "My life is hid with Christ in God."
Psychologically we each need someone who will listen to us. Such a human person is not easy to find, though deep relationships provide this atmosphere of mutual listening, in love. If you can accept God as "the One who listens." then talking to him about yourself (and everything and everyone in your life) makes sense. But it also makes sense to learn how you listen to him without just chattering on. This learning is not all that easy, because we need to learn to still ourselves; and we do not listen with the physical ear, but somehow in a way unknown, we become aware of the still small voice which "speaks" to our own stillness . . the voice of "the One who listens." Once you know or experience this, you listen as he listens — and it spreads to everything and continues always all the time, and this is when we can say that silence speaks to silence.
© Copyright by Mayhew McCrimmon Ltd.