I’ve recently unshelved an old book to shake me out of my devotional rut: Disciplines for the Inner Life by father and son team, Bob and Michael Benson. Some may find it mystical and weird at some points. But, for those of us who approach life hyper-analytically a little weirdness is good for the soul.
Part of the daily meditation includes quotes from the history of Christian spirituality. I can’t vouch for all the works of all the authors, many of whom are unfamiliar to me. But I try to benefit from them even if their body of work might raise an eyebrow. I trust you’ll let me know if you recognize such a name. At any rate, I was recently pinned down by this quote by Anthony Bloom:
Let us think of our prayers, yours and mine; think of the warmth, the depth and intensity of your prayer when it concerns someone you love or something which matters to your life. Then your heart is open, all your inner self in recollected in the prayer. Does it mean that God matters to you? No, it does not. It simply means that the subject matter of your prayer matters to you. For when you have made your passionate, deep, intense prayer concerning the person you love or the situation that worries you, and you turn to the next item, which does not matter so much – if you suddenly grow cold, what has changed? Has God grown cold? Has he gone? No, it means that all the elation, all the intensity in your prayer was not born of God’s presence, of your faith in Him; it was born of nothing but your concern for him or her or it, not for God. (p38)