Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Friday, 27 October 2017

The one you long for

Each month a different community or group in our Province suggests a prayer or reflection we can all use to pray for vocations. This month, we were sent an adaptation of John O'Donohue's For Longing: a prayer beginning Blessed be the longing that brought you here and that quickens your soul with wonder... which can be prayed as a blessing for someone who is discerning, or taking the next steps in their adventure with God.

As we prayed it the other evening I was really struck by the words: May the one you long for long for you. Our longing for God, and God's deep desire for us are embedded in scripture and spirituality, and deeply so within our own personal stories and responses. There are indeed times when we long intensely for God; when we experience what Janet Erskine Stuart called the beatitude of hunger: there are also times when we race eagerly forward, only to discover that there are always parts of us which lag behind. We long for God, and simultaneously we fear the consequences of having God. We long; we lag; we hunger; we fear... we draw back even as we move forward, rather as we would if approaching a furnace, even though we know that with God, we risk only being consumed by the Love for and by which we were created.

May the one you long for long for you... And then it occurred to me that this is also a short prayer on its own, to be addressed to God, perhaps on behalf of someone we know, or maybe simply for an unknown discerner, teetering on the edge of response and beatitude, and in need of our prayer. O God, may the one you long for long for you... with intensity and urgency... with wonder and love overcoming fear...

But of course, before I can say the prayer on behalf of anyone else, I have to begin by saying it for myself...

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