So, last year the Ballard’s suggested we work on a book called What the Saints Said about Suffering. Same format. Ruth Ballard, iconographer, is in chronic terrible back and stomach pain. Her thoughts are, therefore, in a way, much more authentic than mine. I consider my prayers to be more of a bridge for readers whose pain is less dramatic and often more psychological. Here is a prayer I wrote today for this book. The prayer is about a line in writings of St. Polycarp:
“That we might live in Him”… Jesus, I am struck by those words of your early Church saint. My godfather used to say that one reason we don’t like to enter into deep prayer is that we prefer to have our feet on the familiar good earth. That is what we are used to. We prefer to live on earth. We don’t want to live in You? Nowadays we have noticed that people like to stay in their “comfort zone.” Yet You are our comfort. The Holy Spirit is called The Comforter. Well, humble little wretches that we are, of course, we like the comfort zone of our earthly environment – my familiar dwelling place, my close friends, my desk or the well-known streets of the town where I serve, say, as a policeman. “Living in Him” would mean letting Him, as it were, lift us out of that comfort zone, into His heart and mind. There He will comfort us for all the deficiencies of our surroundings, but He will also challenge us. “Suffer” yourself to go out into the thoughts, the feelings, the miseries of a brother or sister today, Jesus might tell me when I draw near to Him in prayer: “If you take my hand and go forth out of that comfort zone, in exchange for living in Me, I will live in you. It will be a suffering for you, but also an adventure.” Let me live in You, Jesus, more and more.
I thought goodbooksmedia blog readers might like this prayer of mine.