Thursday 2 December 2021

Thursday 2nd December - Music of Eternity Day 5

 Chapter Heading; 'Father, hallowed be Your Name'

If Advent is about awakening to God's Eternal Action - around us and within us - our natural response after encountering God will be to worship. Christ taught us the Lord's Prayer to recognise our privileged relationship with the God who is our Father. So our prayers open not with petition but with praise and adoration as we seek to enter into the deepest meaning of much-loved and familiar words. Evelyn [Underhill - check the subtitle of the book!] reminds us that self-interest dries up adoration and we need to guard against the poison of 'spiritual egoism'

Tricky, this - I can start off with praise and adoration, but it always seems to me that I praise God, and thanking Him and adoring Him not because 'He Is', but because of what He has done, and is doing, for us - everyone, me, my friends and my family - oops, I seem to have arrived upon the scene already, before the first sentence of this paragraph has ended, and before I reach the finish I will have started asking Him to intervene on behalf of everyone, my family and friends, and, of course, not forgetting, Me!

OK, back to the start - God the Creator of all things, who inspires, loves us (careful...) who makes all these colours I see around me, loves us, no, here I are again....

If you have only as little as half an hour to give each morning to your private prayer...spend half that time in such adoration... its neglect is responsible for much lack of spiritual depth... we must become, and keep, spiritually fit.

Half an hour! But if I don't get a move on I won't have time for a bath and I need to be ready by such and such a time because....

Perhaps, if I can only manage to do the 'praise and adoration' bit for a minute or two at a time, would it be ok if I split this into about ten really short 'Hi Intensity 'spiritual workouts' a day? That's actually doable - there is so much to see, taste, hear, pause over, before moving on to the next thing.

R S Thomas has a suggestion along these lines;

A Day in Autumn

It will not always be like this,
The air windless, a few last
Leaves adding their decoration
To the trees’ shoulders, braiding the cuffs
Of the boughs with gold; a bird preening
In the lawn’s mirror. Having looked up
From the day’s chores, pause a minute,
Let the mind take its photograph
Of the bright scene, something to wear
Against the heart in the long cold

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