Prayer from the heart

In “Thomas Merton In Alaska – The Alaskan Conferences, Journals, and Letters”, a record of talks, notes, and journal entries that Thomas Merton wrote in 1968, shortly before he passed on, he teaches us about prayer: “You don’t get to God through a system. You speak from your heart”.

Mary Oliver begins the poem “Six Recognitions of the Lord” (“Devotions”) with a similar teaching:

I know a lot of fancy words.

I tear them from my heart and my tongue.

Then I pray.

The Tatar-American poet, Adnan Onart, writes “The Morning Prayer”, and takes us beyond words:

In a poor Istanbul neighborhood,

at the ground floor of our house,

my great-grandmother says:

It is time for morning prayer.

If you pray, she says, pure as a child,

from this corner of the room,

an angel will appear.

I am five years old closing my eyes.

Allahü Ekber.

Essallamü alleyküm ve rahmetullah.

I am fifty opening my eyes.

In Boston, Massachusetts,

in a not so poor neighborhood

at the top floor of our house

praying my morning prayer.

From that corner of the room,

my great-grandmother appears.

thebibliophile — the sky this morning, Coimbatore, India

It appears that the sky has been praying all night, and the sun is appearing in a corner…..

Peace 🙂

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