This week’s readings from Thoughts in Solitude remind us that even when it seems that nothing is happening while we pray, God is present and working in us even as we struggle to break free from our worries and routines.
If you’re new to contemplative prayer, it’s tempting to start measuring and observing yourself as if something big and momentous is about to happen. However, Thomas Merton assures us that our work is to turn away from our cares and to trust ourselves to God’s care:
“One cannot then enter into meditation, in this sense, without a kind of inner upheaval. By upheaval I do not mean a disturbance, but a breaking out of routine, a liberation of the heart from the cares and preoccupations of one’s daily business.”
“There is no such thing as a prayer in which ‘nothing is done’ or ‘nothing happens,’ although there may well be a prayer in which nothing is perceived or felt or thought.”
“All real interior prayer, no matter how simple it may be, requires the conversion of our whole self to God.”