"Send out Your light and Your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling." Psalm 43:3

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ramsey: Be on the Godward side of every human situation

I'm currently reading Michael Ramsey's The Christian Priest Today.  The book is written for priests, and those considering the priestly vocation, but the following passage is a great admonition for any follower of Christ.  This is from chapter three, Man of Prayer.
Amidst our contemporary tensions between traditional modes of prayer and the newer forms of secular spirituality, it helps to recapture the simplest meaning of our Lord's high-priestly intercession: to be with God for the people.  Anywhere, everywhere, God is to be found.  In your daily encounters with people, God is there: you can recollect him, you can be with him, you can share your doings with him, you can shoot arrows of desire from your heart to his: and all this will be for the people's sake.  You can be on the Godward side of every human situation; for the Godward side is a part of every human situation.  But you are unlikely to have the power to be on the Godward side of human situations if you think that it can be done by a kind of shallow secularized activism.  This is the fallacy that does so much damage at the present time.  The truth is that you will have the awareness of God and the power to be on the Godward side of human situations only if you carry with you into the day's ups and downs an "interior castle" of recollection drawn from your times of quietness and eucharist and scripture.  There is no by-passing the Psalmist's wisdom, "Be still and know that I am God", and there is no by-passing the example of our Lord whom Simon Peter found praying alone in a desert place a great while before day.  You will not try to be wiser than the Psalmist, or wiser than our Lord.

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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