God is not some distant person out there

 
Some reflections of the German theologian, Klaus Hemmerle (1992-1994) for the holiday season: God is close to those who suffer and “waste” their time in prayer, knowing how to “remain in silence”.

God is not a distant person who can be approached only by queuing up. He listens with particular attention to those who are particularly poor, and particularly humble.

From the volume Scelto per gli uomini (“Chosen for mankind”), p. 113.

The busier I am, the more I need time for prayer. It is then that I discover one thing. When I use, or “waste” my time to remain in God, a sort of “miraculous multiplication of time” comes about. Thanks to the time given to God, I end up having more time at my disposal, or at least, quality time, more available and denser with love to donate to the others. Time becomes like a pearl necklace composed of many precious moments which I am able to live, and bring to fulfilment in meditation and commitment to others.

From the volume Scelto per gli uomini (“Chosen for mankind”), pp. 109-110.

We could define the “grain of salt” of Christian prayer as the point in which the distinctive characteristic of the Christian appears clearer and more evident: the fact, that in praying to God the other, our neighbour, is always included; and the fact that the praying person’s “I” always intrinsically includes a “we.”

From the volume Scelto per gli uomini (“Chosen for mankind”), p. 114

At times it would be good not to say anything but remain in silence. It is only then, in fact, that we denote how many flows of thoughts, impressions and ideas cross our minds. It is as if we are immersed in a tide that intensifies and unceasingly distances us from ourselves, not allowing us to reach ourselves.

In prayer it is not decisive for us to reach this absolute silence. It may even seem “right” if despite every effort, we are unable to reach it. In fact, somehow we understand that also in that indistinct, confused flow, so devoid of perfection and integrity, I am however myself, I who have been given and abandoned to myself, and I, the one who constantly slips away from myself. And so we can say: I have no power over me, and it is not I who knows and possesses myself but you in the innermost of me, and you who knows and scrutinizes me. You know who I am and what is good for me, and you answer with your “yes” and address me with the word: You.

From the book Das Wort fur uns (“The Word for Us”), p. 91.

Source: Klaus Hemmerle,  “La luce dentro le cose, meditazioni per ogni giorno” (“The Light within things: Daily Meditations”), Città Nuova, 1998.

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