[This is the fourth of a series of posts featuring a saint, mystic, or writer to include some of their thoughts on prayer as well as a prayer written by or ascribed to him or her.
Adrian van Kaam… was a Dutch Catholic priest, …a college professor, existentialist psychologist, writer on formative spirituality and co-founder of the Epiphany Institute]
We can only learn how to pray by praying.
At times we got so wrapped up in words
about prayer that we forgot to pray.
The turn to transcendence made us aware
that without the experience itself of prayer
the words do not mean much to us.
We realize that not everything
about prayer can be put into words.
There is a unity between doing the works of God
and being listened to by Him when we pray.
In some way, it is really the same:
to do the works of God and to have our prayers answered.
Our prayers will be answered because we are doing daily the works of God.
And we do the works of God because our prayers are answered.
The transcendent knowing of God in prayer…
is making room in myself
for an experience of His loving presence
deep within me and all around me.
A Prayer by Fr. Adrian VanKaam
you want me to learn from you
gentleness of heart.
No matter how I fail you,
your gentleness never fails me.
You are slow to anger;
your kindness is without limit.
You tell me not to be distressed,
to make your gentleness my own
so that my soul may find rest.
Give me the wisdom to make time in my day
for a gentle nursing of my soul.
Free me from arrogance,
from goals too sublime for me.
Still and quiet my soul
as a mother quiets the little ones on her lap.
Free me from the need for achievement.
Make my life less forceful, more gentle,
centered in you alone.
Let the splendor of your presence
light up my everydayness.
Make me a smooth channel for the outflow
of your Divine Will in this world.
Link to Epiphany Institute http://www.epiphanyassociation.org