Tuesday, June 23, 2009

These hit hard...

I'm walking through a lot of deeply personal stuff these days. Thoughts that may one day make their way in some form or other to this blog, but for the moment carry with them much uncertainty, anger, and pain. I've been feeling stretched past the limits again, and nearly unable to pray.

Anne Lamott wrote that the one prayer God always answers is, "Help!" I told a friend this morning that I was hoping that that is true, as it's about all I can manage to pray right now.

The following two quotes, one that was waiting in my inbox from Henri Nouwen, and one that was waiting on my desk in the calendar given to me by a dear friend, both struck my heart deeply today, for similar and different reasons.

From Henri:

Words That Come From the Heart

Words that do not become flesh in us remain "just words." They have no power to affect our lives. If someone says, "I love you," without any deep emotion, the words do more harm than good. But if these same words are spoken from the heart, they can create new life.

It is important that we keep in touch with the source of our words. Our great temptation is to become "pleasers," people who say the right words to please others but whose words have no roots in their interior lives. We have to keep making sure our words are rooted in our hearts. The best way to do that is in prayerful silence.

From the calendar:

"If you cannot pray by effort, then you will pray by endurance. In such an extremity, turn your face toward the Blessed Virgin, or toward any of the saints. Beg them to make your prayer for you, or to grant you some share in that prayer which they utter forever in heaven." (Saint Jane Frances de Chantal)