Awakening to Prayer

Prayer is that divine seed whose roots draw food from earthly existence

Prayer is that divine seed whose roots draw food from earthly existence. Like the lotus flower that does not bloom in arable ground but in marshes, prayer thrusts its roots into human misery as if into mud. But the lotus flower does not show any trace of the muddy water from which it drew life; turned toward the sky, it blooms.

~ from AWAKENING TO PRAYER by Augustine Ichiro Okumura
Awakening to Prayer
By Augustine Ichiro Okumura

What appears to be indigestible can become real nourishment for prayer

At times God seems to give us stones impossible to digest. In these moments think of the pearl oyster: it retains the accidental grain of sand within itself for a long time, constantly bathing in it with its secretions. In due time a magnificent pearl is created. In like manner the animosities and antipathies that make their way into our hearts are seemingly indigestible pebbles. However, if we keep them wrapped in prayer, they will become pearls of love. Prayer provokes this miracle of love. Indeed, what appears to be indigestible can become real nourishment for prayer.

~ from AWAKENING TO PRAYER by A. I. Okumura
Awakening to Prayer
By Augustine Ichiro Okumura

At the extremity of prayer words vanish

At the extremity of prayer words vanish, or rather the "silence-become-word" surpasses all that can be uttered. Prayer becomes the silence of Love, and this silence reveals the "I" in its deepest aspects; and, should words suddenly arise in prayer, we must regard them as fruits of love that send us back to silence.

~ from AWAKENING TO PRAYER by A. I. Okumura
Awakening to Prayer
By Augustine Ichiro Okumura

To pray is to discover God's oasis hidden in the desert of the soul

To pray is to discover God's oasis hidden in the desert of the soul. True prayer is the wellspring force of divine life flowing in the "transparent" soul of one whose trust is fully centered in God. This divine force, secret and strong, gently inspires all those who seek the truth; it will reunite them one day, beyond time and space, in the cosmic and eternal world. At the extremity of prayer words vanish, or rather the "silence-become-word" surpasses all that can be uttered. Prayer becomes the silence of Love, and this silence reveals the "I" in its deepest aspects; and, should words suddenly arise in prayer, we must regard them as fruits of love that send us back to silence.

~ from AWAKENING TO PRAYER by A. I. Okumura with thanks to Ana Maria Jones

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