August 20, 2009

Prayer and Poverty

I put a star next to this paragraph as I read Dumitru Staniloae's "Prayer and Freedom" on the bus today:

Prayer is the reverse of the will to dominate. That is why it guarantees the freedom of man; it affirms another Freedom, and that Freedom assures freedom to the one who prays. True prayer is prayer addressed to God; it is the encounter with Freedom itself, boundless Freedom which nothing can threaten and therefore presents no threat. The Freedom desires to affirm and uphold the freedom of every person who is content to be thus affirmed without affirming himself.

This is why evangelical minority--which is the heart of the Franciscan vocation--is first of all the plain honesty of the encounter with God in prayer. It is not first of all about money, or gadgets, or material security, but about surrendering oneself--the whole messy mixture of freedom for goodness and slavery to sin--to God in order to be relieved of the will to domination and coercion by which we insist on making ourselves and each other miserable, and which harden into the violence and social sins of our world.

No comments: