There was a man who was in the habit of going off by himself into a remote wood. One day a friend, curious to know what he was up to, followed him into the wood. When he caught up with him, he found him sitting quietly on a log.
“What are you doing?” he asked the man.
“I’m praying,” came the reply.
“But why come to this remote spot to pray?”
“Because I feel close to God here.”
“But isn’t God to be found everywhere, and isn’t God the same everywhere?”
“God is, but I am not.”
Do you have a favorite place to pray, a place where you feel close to God? Lent is quickly approaching (February 18th) and our scripture will once again encourage us to pray. I hope all of us will take that call to pray seriously. Find the place and the time where you can pray. It makes a difference. Below is a reflection I came across that is entitled “A lonely place.”
Jesus went off to a lonely place to pray.
Yet the same Jesus who prayed in lonely places said,
“When you pray, go into your room,
and pray to your Father in secret.”
This means that the lonely place
is not necessarily a place far away,
or that by “room” he means four walls
that separate us physically from others.
The room is the room of our innermost heart.
This room is with us at all times.
We should make it a place to which we can go
to find rest and spiritual recovery
when the world is too much with us.
Then we will discover that the inner room
is not empty after all, but is occupied
by the God of love who dwells in us all.
If you have not signed up for one of the small groups this coming Lent, I hope you will consider joining one. The book we are using is called “Tattoos on the Heart.” It is a wonderful book by Fr. Greg Boyles. Even if you cannot join a group the book would be a good read for you this Lent.