Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Warming Oneself Before the Glow of God

I enjoy finding words of holy and spiritual meaning, especially as they relate to prayer. Nobel Peace Prize winner and retired Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu was visiting professor at Emory University in Atlanta in 1998. Bob Abernathy interviewed him for his wonderful book, "The Life of Meaning - Reflections on Faith, Doubt, and Repairing the World." They spoke about Tutu's work in helping to end apartheid in South Africa and about current events. Then Bob asked Tutu about prayer.

"I have come to realize more and more that prayer is just being in the presence of one who loves you deeply, who loves with a love that will not let you go, and so when I get up in the morning I try to spend as much time as I can in the sense of being quiet in the presence of that love. It's like sitting in front of a warm fire on a cold day. After a while, I may have the qualities of the fire change me so that I have the warmth of the fire. I may have the glow of the fire and it is so also with me and God. I just have to be there, quiet."

Sooner or later, hopefully often, nearly everyone prays. May we be as lucky as Desmond Tutu, to see prayer, among other things, as being in the presense of love, and as he so eloquently put it, "warming oneself before the glow of God."

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