Gratefulness The Heart of Prayer

PRAYER: Heart And Mind (Part Three) by Brother David Steindl-Rast

August 7, 2017

From Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer Meaning Here, another prayer from Rilke’s Book of Hours allows these intuitions to crystallize into poetic images.  Once more Rilke starts out with the polarity of noise and silence.  This time it is the crowd of contradictions in our life that fills the palace of our heart with a riotous feast of fools.  It is impossible, of course, to eliminate contradictions altogether from our life.  Life itself is contradictory.  But we can reconcile contradictions in the great primordial symbols, like the symbol of the heart itself.  When we succeed in this, a great silence begins to reign, serenely festive and gentle.  And in the middle of that silence stands God, as guest, as silent core of our [...]

PRAYER: Heart And Mind (Part Two) by Brother David Steindl-Rast

July 31, 2017

From Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer Restless Is Our Heart The German poet Rainer Maria Rilke celebrates both our longing for healing and wholeness and our primordial conviction that God’s healing power wells up in our own innermost heart.  He finds God in “the spot that is healing,” while we, like children picking on a scar, keep ripping it open with the sharp edges of our thoughts.  If only we could quiet all that agitation within and around us, the din that distracts us.  In our silence a thousand scattered thoughts would be gathered into one.  And in the thousandfold power of that concentration we would be able to hold God one smiling moment long in a single thought.  Just long enough to give that divine [...]

PRAYER: Heart And Mind (Part One) by Brother David Steindl-Rast

July 24, 2017

From Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer Together Gratefulness is a mindful response, as we have seen.  Our intellect, our will, our feelings are all engaged when we are grateful.  But when we say mindful, someone might still get the impression that we want to stress the mind over against the rest of our person.  It might be less misleading to speak of the heart rather than the mind.  Gratefulness is a full response.  We sense that.  And we sense also that this kind of fullness cannot go together with halfheartedness.  Gratefulness is always wholehearted.  Our whole person is engaged in it.  And this is precisely what the symbol of the heart stands for – the whole person. When lovers say to one another, I will give you my [...]

PRAYER: Surprise And Gratefulness by Brother David Steindl-Rast

July 10, 2017

From Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer A rainbow always comes as a surprise.  Not that it cannot be predicted.  Surprising sometimes means unpredictable, but it often means more.  Surprising in the full sense means somehow gratuitous.  Even the predictable turns into surprise the moment we stop taking it for granted.  If we knew enough, everything would be predictable, and yet everything would remain gratuitous.  If we knew how the whole universe worked, we would still be surprised that there was a universe at all.  Predictable it may be, yet all the more surprising. Our eyes are opened to that surprise character of the world around us the moment we wake up from taking things for granted.  Rainbows have a way of waking us up.  A [...]

PRAYER: Aliveness And Wakefulness (In Place of an Introduction) by Brother David Steindl-Rast

July 3, 2017

From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer This book is about life in fullness.  It is about coming alive.  I could summarize it in two words: Wake up! A poet like Kabir is able to say these two words with a freshness that makes us sit up.  Kabir’s poems have power.  They wake us up to an aliveness we never thought possible. Do you have a body? Don’t sit on the porch! Go out and walk in the rain! If you are in love, then why are you asleep? Wake up, wake up! You have slept millions and millions of years. Why not wake up this morning? In my own way, I try to get the same message across.  And people are hungry for it.  All around the world I have been invited to speak about it.  And people always ask, “Why don’t [...]