Praying - a conversation with God-A A +A
The Living Spirit
Sunday, October 20, 2013
TERESA of Avila has said that praying is like a conversation with God, like having a friend from whom you know that he loves you and therefore you often come together in order to talk to him and have a private and intimate conversation with him.
In Holland, we had a Jewish girl by the name of Etty Hillesum who wrote a book in which she describes how such an intimate conversation with God can take place. Because she was Jewish she was in hiding for the German soldiers could arrest her anytime. In fact the German soldiers found her and deported her to Camp Westerbork where she was killed. I will quote here one passage from the book and try to translate it in understandable English but I must admit that much of her original beautiful language got lost. Nevertheless it may inspire the readers to come to a similar kind of conversation with God.
September 5, 1942, Tuesday 10:30 a.m. My God, perhaps this has been for me a little too much. Now I have become aware of the fact that man has also a body. All the time I thought that my spirit and my heart could bear everything. But here comes my body that says: stop! My God, now I feel how much You have let me bear so many beautiful things and so many difficult things.
And the difficulty is that as soon I was ready to bear it, it always changed again into something beautiful. The beautiful and the great things were sometimes more difficult to bear than the suffering, because they were so overwhelming. That one small human heart can experience so much, my God, that You have chosen my heart, in this time, to go through all that what it went through, isn’t that too much?
Maybe, it was good that I became sick. I haven’t reconciled myself yet with this fact. I am a bit numb, I am searching, and helpless, but in the same time I am trying to gather some patience from all corners of my being. This must be a totally new patience for a totally new situation that is what I feel.
And I will follow again the old tested method and talk with myself from time to time along these small blue lines on my paper. Talking to You, my God, is that really alright? Without disregarding the people, now I feel only the need to talk to You. I love the people very much because in every man I love something of You. I look for You everywhere in the people and I often find something of You. I try to dig You up in the hearts of others, my God. But now I need a lot of patience, patience and reflection, it will become very difficult. The doctor told me yesterday that I am too much living an inner life and that I live too little on earth and am already near the border of heaven, I cannot bear all that physically, he said. Maybe, he is right. This last one year and a half, my God!, and those last two months, they were by themselves already a whole life-time. And did I not have many hours of which I said: this one hour has been a whole life-time, and when I soon may pass away, then has this one hour not been worth my whole life?
And how often did I have those hours! Why can one not live also in heaven? Heaven is there anyway, why can we not live in there also? But actually, it is much more like this: heaven lives in me. Something is wrong with my body. I really want to be healthy soon.
But I accept everything from your hands, my God, the way it comes. I know that it is always good: I have experienced that by bearing all the difficult things they may change into good thing.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 20, 2013.