Getting Outside for Prayer – Ignatian Spirituality

One of my favourite poems is Wendell Berry’s “The Peace of Wild Things.” The poet speaks of retreating into the world of nature when the world of politics, work stress, or different anxieties get in the way in which. I perceive the draw. I’ve had durations in my life when lengthy stretches of silence come simply and God’s presence is felt in that silence, occasions when dialog comes simply, however then I’ve skilled occasions when the enterprise of life or the concerns of the world make it tough for me even to take a seat nonetheless! In these occasions, one among my methods is to go for a stroll outdoor and to hunt God within the expertise of nature.

Berry’s poem speaks of the mindfulness of being current to the wonders of God’s creation. This mindfulness refers us again to God the Creator nearly seamlessly, not solely as an summary trigger, however as one thing current there within the encounter with creation.

I come into the peace of untamed issues
who don’t tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of nonetheless water.

We can study from being within the presence of animals the peace of coronary heart and thoughts that may come from being within the second relatively than considering of the long run. After all, proper now, proper right here, God has given us the present of the enjoyment of our environment: the sky, wind, bushes, grass, the scents and sounds of plant and animal life, and even snow and ice. The cardinal that flashes pink because it flies beneath the branches of the pine tree attracts my consideration. The smoothness of ice beneath a duck sitting on a frozen pond eases my very own ideas.

There are different methods, too, for when prayer appears too onerous. We can do as St. Teresa of Ávila recommended and sit down anyway for the prayer time that the clock calls for, even shaking our fist on the clock somewhat, however know that by displaying up, we’re nonetheless in relationship. We can come to prayer and specific to God that we really feel too harried or anxious to wish and let that be our prayer. We can pray memorized prayers that now we have recognized and liked earlier than and see if these can carry us by. We may even pray in silence and know that there’s nothing incorrect with being fidgety and distracted and that God is current even in our fidgets. All these are “good prayer.”

Still, for me, when my peculiar prayer goes nowhere, I discover that placing on my boots, opening the door, and entering into the woods, onto a subject, or trouncing by the crunch of snow restores one thing of the connection between me and the lived expertise of God’s larger glory actually being “greater.” And “I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” (Berry)

Photo by Harvey Reed from Pexels.

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