Reflections on life. Collections of inspirational quotes. Rediscovering relationships and faith.
In the middle of the journey of our life
I found myself within a dark forest
where the straight path was lost.” –
Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
ché la diritta via era smarrita.
Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy- Inferno, canto I Lines 1-3
After my last post, I can’t seem to find a glimpse on how I’m going to talk about the power of prayer. I feel so empty inside. I feel something is missing or maybe I am looking for my own way of writing it, not according to what the Good Spirit is telling me. I waited. I am just flowing like a falling leaf not knowing where the wind will take it.
Five days counting and nothing! This evening my friend Bea dropped by carrying a book “The Divine Comedy” by Dante. She asked me to translate some italian lines in english. I told her it was my favorite book in College days and I considered it the world’s greatest work of theological poetry. As I was trying to translate Canto I of “Inferno”, memory of a past spiritual rebirth starts flashing before me.
“In the middle of the journey of our life, I found myself within a dark forest, where the straight path was lost.” were the first three lines. They keep on stirring my memory, back into my past.
Yes I have ” journeyed through life” on my whims to follow my own desires, my obstinacy to bend to rules and narcissism to ignore and understand a human affection for me. If there are seven deadly sins, I had eight !
My indifference was the eight and I believe it is the epitome of all evil! When there is indifference, you don’t feel love nor hate. You just live alone on your own island blind to other’s feeling and situation.
That condition was my “dark forest where my path is lost” as Dante described his life. My life followed a wandering course like a planetary vagabond. Through my drifting, I became unhappy, unsatisfied. I felt lost!
A “light” in my dark forest , beamed on my “muddy” ground. It is that perfect moment which led me to be conscious of having erred and strayed.
And in the “midst of my journey“, He presented Himself to me like a dawning day or a strike of a lightning. It was similar to Saul’s experience on his road to Damascus .
That Light was my saving grace. Its touch, a soothing balm to my weary soul. It was the first moment I felt God caressing my life. I never knew Him. I heard about Him but never had a contact with Him. I never talked to Him.
How did I know it was God? Something changed inside me. I felt a supernatural aura, a Presence too intense to make my indifference changed into reaching out, my inner wounds were healed, my hollow strength became weak, my self- fortress crumbled! Most of all, if you believe it or not, I heard his voice saying: “Ross, I love you.”
His words, His touch made me discover the right path. He made me discover a “relationship” between us two. His compassion and mercy for my sins made me realized His personal Presence in my life making me see what is inner beauty and what is true fullness of life.
Now, you might asked me, what am I trying to converge between my conversion and power of prayer?
Well, I am convinced it is the focal point of our prayer life.
It is that personal relationship with God that will uplift your prayer. It is a personal love relationship between you and your God.
It is analogous to your love relationship with your “significant other”. You constantly seek her/his presence. You yearn to hear her/his voice, to stay beside your partner…to talk, to listen, to observe or simply, to be a loving presence! True??
To be touched by Love is important for it becomes your fulcrum to lift up your soul to God. Prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a cry of recognition and of love, it is the heart that prays.
Prayer is not a half-hearted ritual recitation of words; it is an outpouring of the heart.
Let me reiterate, it is only when you recognize His loving presence in your daily life, your prayer becomes to be powerful to see beyond the horizon, to see beyond the stumbling blocks of life, to feel beyond pain, to feel tranquility in being empty-handed or feel joy when you feel un-needed…all because…you simply love LOVE!
The power of prayer begins to unfold!
to be continued…
Bless The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts
Once my heart was captured, reason was shown the door, deliberately and with a sort of frantic joy. I accepted everything, I believed everything, without struggle, without suffering, without regret, without false shame. How can one blush for what one adores?” – George Sand
I believe that a man is converted when first he hears the low, vast murmur of life, of human life, troubling his hitherto unconscious self.” – D. H. Lawrence
The great danger of conversion in all ages has been that when the religion of the high mind is offered to the lower mind, the lower mind, feeling its fascination without understanding it, and being incapable of rising to it, drags it down to its level by degrading it.” – George Bernard Shaw
Jesus tapped me on the shoulder and said, Bob, why are you resisting me? I said, I’m not resisting you! He said, You gonna follow me? I said, I’ve never thought about that before! He said, When you’re not following me, you’re resisting me.” – Bob Dylan
I used to say: there is a God-shaped hole in me. For a long time I stressed the absence, the hole. Now I find it is the shape which has become more important.” – Salman Rushdie
In the stillness of myself, I listen to your Voice.” – Ross Sarte, Dialogues of my soul, 2007
“Will you be interested to write an article on Power of Prayer?”, Khaled Shams, a Muslim living in Austria asked me in his email.
N.B. – I asked Khaled’s permission if I can published his email, hiding his identity. He replied, I can but he prefers to reveal his name and site where he will published it.
I do not know him personally. I do not know what the Good Spirit whispered in his ears while reading my blog to prod him to ask me about this theme. A believer in Allah like him inviting a simple creature like me who believes in one God in Three Persons to write 1,500 to 2,000 words about the power of prayer!
He has some reminders too. I have to consider the atheists, the agnostics, the believers who could be practicing or not! Oh my!!!
I closed my eyes and asked the Good spirit: “What do you want from me now?”
I immersed myself in His presence, letting go of my fears, letting my mind flow of its own accord without thought.
In the stillness of myself, I listen to your Voice. I stand here in silence.
Let me emphasize this word: LISTEN. Yes, I listen just like the way you do in front of your friend. You just don’t hear your friend’s words but you listen. Listening is an art. You have to put yourself into it. You remove all distractions just to listen to what your friend is telling you, right? Particularly when you know your friend has something important to say or wants to reveal to you.
You just don’t give your ear to your friend. You give your heart. You give your time. You take away your judgement, your anger, your restlessness. You just stand or sit beside your friend and wait for her/his time to speak, without forcing your friend to talk. You just wait.
…and I waited for Him to speak…
OK, I’m going to accept Khaled’s invitation. I am aware this is an enormous task for me to carry. I do not know how the Good Spirit will lead my fingers to write down what is needed to be shared. A prayer is a personal experience. I have that experience. If ever someone will be touched by this experience, it is not my own doing but the Good Spirit’s job. It is all up to him.
I am His pen, He is the writer.
Whoever will be reading my blog, my succeeding posts will be on the power of prayer.
I will cut it up on various sections or posts. I don’t know how I will reach 2,000 words without counting my lists of quotes.
What I only know is this: a Muslim asking someone who is a non Allah believer to speak of prayer is a positive sign. This is one good road towards ecumenism. Let us focus on what can unite us not on what can divide us.
Khaled Sham, I am accepting it. Salaam alaikum!
Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much.” – Robert Greenleaf
Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals.” – J. Isham
The opposite of talking is not listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.” – Fran Lebowitz
Deep heart listening and speaking your truth generates an exhilarating “heart talk” frequency. “Heart talk” is care in action and builds friendship. As you learn to see everyone as your friend, and not as an enemy, you release judgments. Just keep your heart open to them as you speak your truth.” – Sara Paddison, Hidden Power of the Heart
There is no such thing as a worthless conversation, provided you know what to listen for. And questions are the breath of life for a conversation.” – James Nathan Miller
Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force…When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life…When we listen to people there is an alternating current, and this recharges us so that we never get tired of each other…and it is this little creative fountain inside us that begins to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected laughter and wisdom. …Well, it is when people really listen to us, with quiet facinated attention, that the little fountain begins to work again, to accelerate in the most surprising way.” –Brenda Ueland
The first duty of love is to listen.” – Paul Tillich
The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.” – Henry David Thoreau
You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” – M.Scott Peck
Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.” –Nancy Kerrigan
If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” – A.A.Milne