Awakening to Prayer:
A Woman's Perspective
From the Prologue…
Awakening to prayer is becoming increasingly conscious of the most holy Mystery to whom we are invited, encouraged to relate. The word prayer is almost as generic as food or book. And the varieties of prayer forms are countless. Images of prayer that come to mind are of a mother kneeling at her child’s bedside at night, a community saying the prayer Jesus taught with hands and hearts joined, a solitary figure standing, head bowed, in a cemetery, or hundreds of people in a mosque bowing down in reverent homage. In this best and worst of times, it is intriguing to ponder how women of the twenty-first century enter into a relationship with Holy Presence. It has been a challenge not to repeat what has already been well said about prayer. I have found it enlivening and engaging to realize that at this moment of enormous change, rapid technological advancement and a new relationship between faith and science, we are called upon to see prayer, too, in new, creative ways.
When we are most conscious of the beauty of creation, the wonders of technology and how well everything is going, what is there to say to God? When we are keenly aware of the tragedy of war, the unfairness of poverty or some very difficult personal struggle, where is God anyway?
God is everywhere. The ramifications of that simple statement are what this book is about. Whether you are nurturing, struggling, thirsting—whatever dimensions of daily or global life are front and center for you, Holy Presence permeates every “cell” of your experience. Awakening to prayer is noticing the intimacy between all aspects of your life and God.
In this book, I draw on the wisdom of the Scriptures, the insights of the mystics and the experience of ordinary, vibrant women and men living in our midst. Though I offer suggestions of words to use and rituals to experience, new words aren’t the important part. Rather, awakening to prayer is coming to see that separation from Divine Mystery is an illusion. Spirituality is a journey that lasts a lifetime. That journey itself is home, and prayer is its foundation as you travel.
Monday, February, 9, 2009