Cardinal Newman once described history as a " recurring of spring time."
It was never ended, he was telling us. Always new, fresh, and evolving.
In the times of prayer, you will also come to experience the journey like this.
But I think often we must let go of a bit of baggage that we pick up through the years in our seeking and understanding. For every moment we journey through, and every season of grace, we must let go all that has passed before—and begin again. It is like having a blank piece of paper.
We often speak of prayer, like all our spiritual activity, as " My prayer," or “My Rosary," or “My retreat,” and so on. In a Hermitage, you soon come to understand it is the prayer of the other. The prayer of Christ in you. You are not the one who is seeking, but the one God has come seeking.
Those who have a ministry of service who sometimes listen to the pilgrims who are seeking God, or guide those who are just beginning down the path of the journey of prayer often point to what can be described as a poverty of presence.
People are looking in the wrong place. For some, the pain of the past, and their hurts and disappointments, are all very real. And it is important to acknowledge this and listen to what has happened to them. There is a time for everything.
Certainly, in our journey of prayer, silence, and solitude there is no escaping the past. Everything, even things we have buried, will be drawn out into the light. It is like peeling the layers of the onion away until we get to the very core of our true selves—and how God sees us.
But there are also those who are sadly so wounded that their past informs everything about their present, and they never seem to move forward to find God, where He truly is. We then see pilgrims who are seeking the mythical paradise. Such that, if they had everything, they dreamed that if obtaining the perfect house, car, and so on, life would be so good. But the truth is they still would not be happy and would always want more.
The God of love, mercy, and compassion, who comes seeking us always, does this in the present moment. Christ is in our midst. The Kingdom of God is in our midst in this present moment. It is not in some faraway place, but within us. “The Kingdom of God is within you.”
Prayer like history is an ever-unfolding journey. That blank piece of paper that is being written on by the goodness of God. It is always about new beginnings.
A spring time for our lives, and journey of the soul. Every moment of prayer just lives every time a sacrament is celebrated—every moment of silence, a new beginning for us, personally, in the church, and with humanity. It is a starting over again with that blank piece of paper.
An associate of the community.