Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Prayer, attention, life, and the incarnation

We are going to a wedding in the Bay Area this weekend. It will the first time most of my family gets to meet Baby Tito. There is excitement. Those who knew me as a baby will see my baby. There is fear. Traveling with a six month old will be an adventure to say the least. In the background, we wait for what the doctors will say about Baby Tito's surgery. My cousin is getting married. His friends are coming from around the country. Ours will not be the only story.

We think life as a linear structure, while it maybe more of a vector force.
A vector force is the direction of a force when all of the other forces from all directions is added together. So many stories, each with their own force, makes the whole present less a line and more of an ever changing diamond. Facets appear and glimmer onto other facets, light appearing to illuminate other story lines, seem to be a better model to give to life.

There will be one wedding, multitude of stories and each driving the narrative structure. For me as a Christian, the underlining narrative force is the divine that is the ground of Being, from which the rest of the other stories arise.

Simone Weil thought of Prayer as a learning to pay attention to God. Prayer maybe learning to pay attention to the underlining force of the narrative, God. The incarnate Jesus will be present at the wedding, as he always is, providing light that shines on all of the stories, making life a brilliant shimmering gem.

It is the risen Jesus I encounter through the stories about my son, my wife, my family, my church, my fellow humans alive now in and in the past. Prayer time is not a time wrenched away from the rest of our lives in order to pay attention to God, but a time that we practice to pay attention to God and take it to the rest of our lifes. Hopefully, we learn to see God in all aspects of our lives. God slowly fashioning our petty distractions into living prayers in the midst of life, for all life can be prayer. Such focused attention can only be a gracious gift from God.

I have tasted this deep prayer a few times in my life, and it is good.

1 comment:

Lace Marie said...

Your post evokes several things for me, especially questions. One question is what does a prayer-filled life look like? I think that the fruit of such a life must stand out, even become measurable, in some way.