27 July 2010

Be Simple as Doves

God would not be infinite Goodness and Wisdom if, seeking and even demanding our love, He had not at the same time made it possible for us to enter into this intimacy with Himself. The means He has provided, and of which we can be absolutely certain, to enter into immediate contact with Him, are the theological virtues and the gifts which accompany them.

By faith we adhere to the truth of the divine life offered to us. By charity this life becomes ours. By hope we are certain, with the help of grace, to live this life more and more, and finally to possess it forever in eternity.

This is the essence of all true and real prayer. Instead of frittering away our time of prayer on various points; instead of philosophizing about God, multiplying acts of the intellect, of the will and the imagination, in order to conjure up ‘pictures’ of what we are thinking about, how simpler it is to go to God directly in our hearts. Seek Him in simplicity of heart ~ Wisdom 1:1. It is Our Lord Himself Who gives us the invitation. Be simple as doves ~ Saint Matthew 10:16. Man is a complex being, but it would be a pity if he introduced his complications into his relations with God. God, on the contrary, is simplicity itself. The more complicated we are, therefore, the farther we stray from Him; the simpler we are, on the other hand, the closer we come to Him.

We have seen that God, our Father, is present in us. When a child wants to talk to his father he does not make use of a manual of etiquette or a code of manners: he speaks in a simple and unaffected way, without formality; and we must do the same with our heavenly Father. He Himself said: Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of heaven ~ Saint Matthew 18:3. A mother never grows tired of hearing her little one say: ‘Mother, I love you’. It is the same with God. The more childlike our prayer, the more it is pleasing to Him. After all it was He Who chose for Himself the name of Father. It is the Holy Spirit Who cries in us: Abba, Pater ~ Galatians 4:6. It is the Holy Spirit also Who places on our lips the inspired words of Scripture and of other liturgical texts.

Our prayer, then, must be quite simple – as simple as possible. All we have to do is to place ourselves on our knees, and with complete sincerity make our acts of faith, hope and love. There is no method of prayer more certain, more elevated, and more salutary than this.

~ Dom Jean-Baptiste Porion ~