martes, 21 de julio de 2015

If we hide our spiritual illnesses from God, as we hide them from our neighbor, then how can we grow in the spiritual life?

Whhat Does it Mean “To Stand Naked Before God?”

by Thomas Moses
I’d like to reflect on the need for our prayer to be deep, authentic, and open before a God who knows all and loves us in our brokenness.
To stand naked before God is to stand before God as Adam and Eve stood before the Fall; before they realized they were naked and hid themselves from Him out of shame. The Church teaches, and many believe, that God is all-knowing. He knows the inner depths of our hearts, a sacred realm hardly known to us, despite our best efforts at self-awareness. It is from the heart that comes “evil thoughts, murders, adultery, [and] fornication” as well as “the springs of life” (Matthew 15:19, Proverbs 4:23). We can learn through the Psalms to pray from the depths of our heart, “Out of the depths, I cry out to you, O Lord;” the heart is an infinite depth as St. Macarios, the 4th century Syrian monk, teaches (Psalm 130:1).

I’d like to reflect on the need for our prayer to be deep, authentic, and open before a God who knows all and loves us in our brokenness.

The Purpose of Prayer

What is the purpose of prayer? The future is fully known to God, and His will is perfect; in some sense, we cannot change the mind of God. When we pray, we make known to ourselves, before God, our pain and suffering, as well as our hope and desire. In prayer, we can learn to make God’s will for us our own will. Prior to Jesus healing the blind man in the Gospel of Luke, He asks him “What do you want me to do for you?” and the blind man answers, “Lord let me receive my sight” (Luke 18:41). Jesus knew what the blind man wanted, and He knew that He would heal him, but Jesus asked what the blind man wanted from Him, in order for the gift of healing to be desired by the blind man openly; and that the will of this man may be united to the will of God. It is not so much that we make known to God what He already knows, or that we seek to bend His will in a way that He does not already will. Rather, we seek to know what we need, and where our needs align with His will. Of course, this is only one facet of prayer. Jesus tells us that He knows how to give us good gifts and He will give us those good gifts (Matthew 7:11). We must remember that God knows what is truly Good, He sees our lives in the context of eternal life and eternal well-being. My desire for a life of comfort and ease pales in comparison to God’s desire to heal me, toward an eternal communion of righteousness with Him and the saints. In a sense, it would be an affront to God to ask for an earthly good while refusing to accept His freedom to withhold it.
God Sees our Unseen Suffering

At the same time, God knows the pain and suffering that we inevitably meet in our broken world. With the Psalmist we can pour out our supplications to God and lay on Him our complaints (Psalm 102:17,142:2). We will not hurt God by making known to Him our frustrations, our fears, and our anxieties. As the Church teaches that God is all-knowing, the Church also teaches that God is all-powerful; dare I say, He remains unharmed by our faithlessness and our anger. I have noticed that some people in intense suffering and pain seem to be afraid to show their weakness before others, even before God.


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