It is not easy to come to a quiet place and pray. Some times we back off from the spiritual journey. We may become aware of fears that are surfacing, or feel confronted or overwhelmed by a sense of our vulnerability or exposure in prayer.
With the best intentions we resist settling into the quiet silence and sometimes flee into activities, reading or mental activity in an unconscious attempt to allay the tremors or succumb to diversions.
Alone we feel our powerlessness against temptations…
Even in the most isolated of places we bring with us our distractions and attractions which are prone to disturb us. Yet, in these words of Luke 4:1 we may find a new peace –
“Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus … was led by the Spirit through the wilderness, being tempted there”.
It was the work of the Holy Spirit to lead Jesus through temptations and desert. And he prevailed. We are all disciples. The master calls and leads. We pray as we were taught “lead us not into temptation…deliver from evil”…
As we come to our place of meeting, we too seek the Holy Spirit as our guide and counsellor. We may be tested sorely in entering the wilderness of our own interior, but it is only with the Spirit, who will teach us all things, that we will come to the fullness of life we seek. In seeking the Spirit we are seeking and discovering what the mystics call ‘the ground of our being’.
Only then can we set aside the temptations, overcome the inner struggles and distractions, and persevering in trust, gradually grow into a deeper union with the Spirit. Alone we can do nothing or may even become stranded or displaced or dishevelled in our journey. Our journey is from the self focus and obsession to immersion in the mysterious Other whom Rudolf Otto termed ‘mysterium tremendum et fascinans’.
The word of God empowers each of us.
Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Gerald G May, M.D. “Awakened Heart: Living Beyond Addiction.”
San Francisco, NY: Harper Collins, 1991.
Rudolf Otto – an introduction his concepts /overview :