Beginning to Pray,
by Anthony Bloom
Paulist Press, 1970
Knocking at the door
Unless we are aware that we are outside the Kingdom of God, that we need to knock to be allowed in (Fr Anthony has talked about this at length in the first chapter), we spend a great deal of our lives imagining we are inside and behaving as if we were.
But we are never radically outside or inside.
God already gives us so much, but we must learn there’s always more.
All we have is a gift. I am nothing and I have nothing = this is the 1st beatitude.
Yet we are in possession of everything, it’s been given to us = 2nd beatitude.
It’s the continuous gift of divine love.
But we lose it as soon as we try to keep it in our hands.
The Kingdom is being free from possession. This freedom establishes us in a relationship where everything is love.
Nothing can be stored.
We cannot go ahead Godwards, unless we have 2 empty hands and an open heart.
= spirit of fasting, abstinence, sobriety
= watchfulness over our imagination
Now, where to knock?
The Kingdom of God is within us.
Find the door of your heart,
you will discover it is the door of the Kingdom of God.”
John Chrysostom, quoted here page 46
And how to knock?
We must stand completely open, devoid of all our knowledge, imagining, image of God.
With attention and focus in our prayer.
And always going deeper, in surrender.
We must choose a prayer that makes sense to us.
The awareness of God shall be with you as a toothache.
Theophan the Recluse, quoted here page 50.
= an ache that will be a desperate longing for God.
Or like a great joy or great pain.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THESE NOTES
Any reflection on these quotes?