Lent is a spiritual journey, in which we try to deepen our relationship with God. Fr Michael Cunningham SDB explores the role of silent prayer in becoming present to God, and growing in compassion towards our brothers and sisters.
Whenever we embark on the spiritual journey, we always encounter in some form or other the Paschal Mystery of Jesus. This is the pattern of death and life, which is at the heart not just of Christian experience but of all human experience. For new life to grow, something has to die. This is experienced most deeply in the spiritual life by the death of that ego-centred existence that is the false self. The issue is always one of giving up control and surrendering to The Great Mystery, The Great Love, The Great River of Life, which Jesus calls The Kingdom of God, the experience of deep love and communion. When we are working for others, or even saying our prayers, we are still to some extent in control. In silent prayer, we have to face up to an encounter with our wounded and broken selves. This is why many give up this difficult path. As Jesus said in the parable of the Sower, the seed falls among the thorns and stony ground of our human condition.