Saturday, May 16, 2015

Prayer Paying attention


Prayer is the the reality of Christian life. Or better put, there dimension of the Christian life by which Christians measure themselves and pay attention to God. Attention is a key ingredient to both love and of prayer. The act of paying attention creates love and when Jesus shares the secret to life of loving God and loving others, he gives the reality of abundant life which arises from paying attention to God and others and the whole of creation. Instead of distraction that culture and the society throws at us, whether by desires, fears or delusions. We find God when we pay attention to our scriptures, those around us and to God who is always present. We find Jesus when we consciously look for him in others eyes and in the dignity of their persons, for in their dignity lays the image of God. God comes to us through his creation, through his love and he is with us as we go about our daily life. 

Many Christians have disputed between whether God finds us in solitude and meditation or in actions of love or if either simply form another works-righteousness of us trying to be like God again. All three contain the truth. God finds us when we are still and know God is with us as within meditation, or to try to control God through meditation and solitude as we sinning humans will be prone to do, can lead us astray. The History of Christianity is filled with such excesses. We serve love and when we seek to enslave love toward our own desires, we fall into a pit of our making. Action can be a form of prayer and paying attention to God and of God finding us, but again, we can dry ourselves out without attention to God and making the action about our power and glory and ignore God by our ego or trying to please him. The original sin lurks though our lives and we cannot escape its grip so easily. Humility means the acknowledgement of perchance to wanting to be like gods of control and ignore the God of Love.   

When I discover the God who is always with me in playing with my son, in being with the people God places in my company, in my quiet time, I confront my deepest and wounded self, the self of my particular cross. Born deform and as such always suspect in the eyes of others, for we worship beauty gives to me a heavy cross to bare and on that can only be bared with the help of God. We all have such crosses, as I am aware. 

How do we imagine Jesus. Many think of his as the Platonic ideal of man, but without the burden of being weak like the rest of us, could it be a true incarnation. Without the weakness of men, then it would be Divine pretense, God putting a costume with a ripping off anytime it was convenient. So no, God took on the weakness of humans. Though it is clear that he took on the weakness of man without taking on sin. Sin makes us inhuman. For no reason that times of great sin like WWII has us exclaim mans inhumanity to man. Sin robs us of our humanity. No, God took on hunger, on being suspicious in the eyes of others (the rumors of being bastard and views of him being weird healer and a charlatan as they very charges the state with him his whole lie and led to the cross.) The temptations to control, to be selfish and to be above the common concerns of man as a spiritual superstar. Yes, Jesus, the incarnate God, emptied himself to being with us, even if that meant dying on a cross as a forgotten man. But he rose from the grave and because of it all man like myself doomed to be forgotten will be remembered by Jesus.


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