Hisham Matar, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, writes of,

‘the longing that I sometimes feel for prayer. It is like a space that is unattended, gathering dust inside me.’

He then describes a visit to the National Gallery and standing in front of the portrait of A Young Man at Prayer by Hans Memling:

‘The boy was making space, and in so doing he had inadvertently arrived at the farther reaches of himself … one who has arrived at the boundary of himself and, with cautious hope, is now looking in.’


From beyond

From the dimension of reality that is beyond all verifiable dimensions, from beyond time and space, we receive intimations of meaning that sustain us. It has nothing to do with the imagination or with fantasy; rather, it is another kind of knowing, a received knowledge, intuitive rather than intellectual. Our age so venerates the intellect that it is chary of that which cannot be neatly analysed and catalogued by the intellect.

Each one of us is capable of tuning in to this other dimension of reality through prayer or meditation, through the heightened awareness that comes from an inner listening.  For there is within us all the wisdom we can ever need.


Asking questions

Among the many sayings of Jesus is: ‘Seek and you shall find. Ask and it shall be given unto you.’ But it is plain that often we do not find what we seek, nor do we get our prayers answered!  So what on earth was Jesus saying? Again, it comes down to the mistake of taking his teachings literally. First, we have to know what it is we are truly seeking in the depths of our lives. Only then will we know what to ask for. Jesus’ way of teaching can be deceptive. As with Japanese koans, we have to live with his teachings until their deeper meaning is revealed.