A Hard Kind of Prayer

A Hard Kind of Prayer

Gospel :

Mark 4:35-41With the coming of evening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ They were filled with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’—————————————-“I love the line,“Lord, don’t you care?”because it is so typical of our reactions.Yes, there is a God, but what is he like?Yes, there is a God, but what is he like?Mark is trying to tell us, and like as not, we can’t hear.The sound of the inner wind is deafening us.
“Lord, don’t you care?”We may have to wait out the prayer,wait out the days or weeks,without coming to the quietudewe feel we ought to be able to have.
“Lord, don’t you care?”And that is all we have to offer.So wait there. Offer itDon’t thrash and gnash your teeth wanting to be other thanthe weak and self-interested little disciple in the boat.
The worst aspect of a nervous upheaval–guilt, anger, despair and whatever else is messing up the deeps of our personalities-is trying to counter desperation with desperation.“I have to be good.I have to be the opposite of what I feel:serene, accepting, and peaceful.I have to trust.”
Maybe the kind of trust the Lord is asking for is precisely my putting up with  the experience of knowing, that I am fiercely pulling at his jacket to wake him upand make him into the God I want to be able to please.
It’s a hard kind of prayer.But it acknowledges surrender to the ministrations of a sea I cannot understand.Sr. Miriam Pollard—————————-June 17, 2021    This afternoon, my friend Edwin, 19, who lives in the K, the poorest section of Marin, where the majority of people of Mexican descent live, came in for a tattoo. Afterward, he took me out to dinner.    Edwin and I met when he was fifteen and I was recovering from surgery. During the months of recovery, he and his friends always were around, and through them, God healed my spirit. Jesus always pulls you out of the “depths” through those you never expect.    As we sat at dinner, he placed his arm over near mind, and commented: “River, I am as white as you are, no wonder I never thought of you as being one of those “white” people”  LOL. I have never seen him as anything but my friend, my bro, Edwin.Fr. Henri Nouwen says to us:“One of the greatest human spiritual tasks is to embrace all of humanity, allow your heart to be a marketplace of humanity, to allow your interior life to reflect the pains and the joys of people not only from Africa and Ireland and Russia and Cuba but also from people who lived in the fourteenth century and will live many centuries forward. Somehow, if you discover that your little life is a part of the journey of humanity and that you have the privilege to be part of that, your interior life shifts. You lose a lot of fear and something really happens to you. Enormous joy can come into your life. It can give you a strong sense of solidarity with the human race, with the human condition. It is good to be human.”    Today we remember the “Martyrs of “Mother Emanuel”, who in the early evening on June 17, 2015, while in prayer were murdered in Charleston, South Carolina.    I also remember  Dylan Roof the perpetrator, who himself was a victim of trauma, severe trauma of a culture of racism, and of a family, who ingrained him with that prejudice.     Trauma is a part of our lives, we either become its victim or we work to overcome that trauma, to see that by working through the trauma we can find joy.    This is why I do not believe in the death penalty, we must face the consequences of our actions, but those consequences can be of mercy, and in that mercy, we begin to face our demons and work through that trauma into a new life. Justice must come with mercy and compassion. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!————Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.P.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 94164http://www.temenos.org415-305-2124

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