Tuesday, June 03, 2008

II Hunger for God

[From "The Fire of Your Life: A Solitude Shared", Seabury Books, 2007.]

We begin to realize that this hunger will never be satisfied, not in this life. It is the hunger to see the Face of God, and the only possible food is prayer, prayer that is all of our lives, to yield to God's emptiness, vastness, to lose control of our ideas of God, our ideas and stereotypes of our selves, of prayer. We finally — again and again — let go all our concepts of God and begin to understand God's notion of us.

At this point in the relationship I always want to turn and run. I feel the same way when I am about to commit myself to a river. At times I do a lot of whitewater canoeing. You use a canoe without a keel to avoid scraping rocks near the water's surface. You have a paddle, your instincts, and maybe some rocks in the bow for ballast. Maybe the rocks in our heads are ballast for the solitary interior journey.

You learn to read the water so that after you have passed through a tranquil stretch and come to rapids, you take what seems the most dangerous path down the dark V of current to the boiling, violent haystacks of white water that are paradoxically the smoothest way to stillness. You try to go into the rapids more slowly than the current so that at least in the beginning you have a little control.

But then as you float down, your heart lurching visibly in your body, you realize you have passed a point of no return: you are committed. There is nothing much you can do except to trust your skill, your reactions, and your boat, to try to avoid rocks and treacherous eddies marked by smoother, more inviting water, and the great holes, the vortices, that can swallow a canoe and destroy it.

The river can kill you.

So can God.

But he difference in solitude is that you begin to learn that even if you do plunge into one of those seemingly bottomless holes, you are still cradled in the hollow of God's hand. You are borne by Love.

[To be continued.]


Anonymous Desertfish said...

Hi Maggie:
Found your site from Anamchara. What a lovely find! I'll add you up on my blogroll so i could easily drop by and drink from your spiritual wellspring.


9:15 am, June 29, 2008  

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