More Wisdom From the Prayerbook

I suppose you could say these thoughts are something of a sequel to some of my thoughts on the Chesterton quote from yesterday.

As I was having my morning time for prayer, the words that I had read a dozen or more times before struck pretty accurately at one of the major struggles I posted about yesterday. That is, the struggle that Saint Augustine encapsulated with his statement “Make me chaste, but not yet.” The prayerbook has this to say in one of the morning prayers:

“But whether I desire it or not, save me, O Christ my Saviour, forestall me quickly, quickly, for I perish.”

Now, hard as I try to be still, attentive and present to the moment when praying, I’m still something of a novice for these kind of prayers and this kind of discipline. So I have to admit that I don’t really remember praying this line previously to today. Or, perhaps in my previous prayer times my mind fixed on other parts of the prayer.

At any rate, this small portion of the prayer really speaks to this struggle that I’ve mentioned and that Saint Augustine wrote about. These few words really capture the point that prayer is a discipline that we undertake out of commitment rather than listening to how we “feel” at the moment. We pray for our salvation, whether we desire it at the moment or not.

So even if part of me is saying “make me chaste, but not yet” there is a committed and disciplined part of me praying and acknowledging that that particular Augustinian part of me does not ultimately matter when it comes to seeking nearness with God. Especially when one prays within a discipline full of wisdom that views the entire struggle from the perspective of an ancient Tradition.

Then, these two aspects of myself (the Augustinian holding back and the disciplined commitment) will begin to work with the perspective that Saint John the Baptist had when he said “He must become greater and I must become less.” If I push forward in discipline then the Augustinian feelings will become less while salvation grows in me. I suppose that puts me somewhere on the same path that Saint John the Baptist and Saint Augustine took. Not a bad journey to take. Difficult though.

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~ by crossingthebosporus on July 19, 2012.

One Response to “More Wisdom From the Prayerbook”

  1. Difficult, but the only journey worth our effort in the end đŸ™‚

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