Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, April 12, 2015
Cry for Help? Assistance in Prayer from Fr. Nouwen.
I love Fr. Nouwen’s writings. All of them. I have never read a single page of his that I have dismissed as trivial or unnecessary. So, I was more than excited today when I saw that one of the liturgical daily lectionary texts and readings included several paragraphs from A Cry for Mercy, by Henri Nouwen.
So many sentences and phrases of Fr. Nouwen’s caught my attention. However, I will focus on two particular sentences: “Why . . . do I keep expecting happiness and satisfaction outside of You? Why do I keep relating to You as one of my many relationships, instead of my only relationship, in which all other ones are grounded?”
These words make me want to hide under a blanket, or under my bed. Hide myself away from the sight of the Lord, and hide my whole self in shame. And fear, and deep sadness.
I can see where several of the big sins, the Seven Deadly Sins, are trying to horn in here. Overweening pride at being arrogantly self-sufficient, apart from You. Green-eyed envy while trying to juggle many surface or vacuous relationships outside of You. Sloth, that lazy, take-one’s-time disease, which keeps me from honest effort lest I strive to grow closer to You.
Lord, forgive me for neglecting You, Your love, support and encouragement. Help me in developing a closer walk with You. And as Fr. Nouwen says, help me to become Your trusting friend. Please, dear Lord. In Your grace and mercy, hear all of our prayers.
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