About Providence, Divine Action and the Church

In this blog, Terry J. Wright posts thoughts and shares research on the Christian doctrine of providence. This doctrine testifies to God’s provision for all things through creation’s high priest, the man Christ Jesus. However, the precise meaning and manner of this provision is a perpetually open question, and this blog is a forum for discussion of the many issues relating to providence and the place of the Church within God’s action.

Friday, 11 October 2013

On Prayer and Feelings

Kathe Kollwitz – “Lament”
Our own feelings should never be the barometer of prayer. At times the words may seem very foreign to our experience: the liturgy gives us words of rejoicing and our heart is breaking, or we may find ourselves wailing with the author of Lamentations when we are bursting with joy. This is the prayer of the Church, and for someone, somewhere – perhaps someone who has asked us to pray for them – these words express all they would say if they could. So when we are thrilled by good news and yet find ourselves complaining with the psalmist that God seems far from us and our enemies surround us, we are praying for the elderly widow in a high-rise block who is afraid of the drug pushers outside her door, or the person who feels abandoned by God as they watch a loved one dying in hospital. And when we are inarticulate in our grief, the psalmist can loan us words that countless people over the years have similarly borrowed and made their own, reminding us in the process that our current feelings are not the last word on the matter.

Christopher Cocksworth and Rosalind Brown, Being a Priest Today: Exploring Priestly Identity, 2nd ed. (London: Canterbury Press Norwich, 2006), p. 113

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