19 May 2016

Truth Can Make Us Miserable

At first contemplative prayer doesn’t feel like prayer.

As we attempt to be still and silent in the solitude of our soul, we begin to notice how much inner noise there is. Our unconscious motivations start to reveal themselves: like our need to be in control, our need to feel safe, or our need for other people’s affirmation.

In the beginning, during a contemplative prayer sit, we are often flooded with the anxieties and compulsions that rule our life. This makes most of us want to give up. At times we want to literally run out of the room. The reality of our human condition is too much for us. The experience of contemplative prayer is anything but still, silent, & solitary. As Richard Rohr says, “The truth will set us free but first it will make us miserable.” Indeed.

But in time, as we show up regularly for a sitting practice like centering prayer, truth takes hold & the noise of our ego attachments begin to take up less space in us. This is the work of grace. Liberation and transformation is making us new. We begin to realize how small the ego-self is in light of the Christ-self rising in us.

*photo credit :: Bryan Hanson at morguefile.com