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A Reflection -- On the Road ...

Less than five years ago these notes were published at Swami Abhishiktanandaji's request.  During his life he did much to call us back to a contemplative experience of God. He wished that these notes should be available in a handy format to individuals who were eager to set out on the road where they could meet the Risen Lord.

He can indeed be known, all round us and in our inner self: "in Him we live, we move and have our being" (Acts 17, 28) and He dwells within our hearts (John 17,23; 6. 56), though often too deep within, beyond our awareness. (John 14, 17)

When we seek Him with all our heart, He comes and manifests Himself through the writings of His Holy Spirit within us: " I will love him and show myself to him." (John 14, 21).

Deciding to pray is the first essential step: a decision to give Him an hour of my daily time faithfully, regardless of the cost. In giving my time, I give my self: in surrender and expectation, I open myself to His presence, His love.

It is clear that obstacles, at times recurring obstacles, need to be removed as they bind my inner self and burden my heart: there will often be the need for a deeper surrender of cares and worry, for acceptance of His loving presence in every circumstance, for repentance and true forgiveness. They are distractions of the heat, which cannot be by-passed but need to be worked through in prayer, before a heart, totally free, can stretch out its longings towards Him.

Prayer is not something we do on our own. When we take one step towards Him, He moves towards us. There are two spiritual steps which hasten His coming in grace:

  • First, the step of accepting (at a definite time and place) Jesus as your Personal Lord and Savior. This involves an acceptance of Him and yielding to Him at a very deep and personal level. He always responds to this acceptance, which enables Him to begin to manifest to you His Lordship and saving power. This act of acceptance seems deceptively simple, and perhaps superfluous, but is surprising on its results. As someone said, "I did not know that you could ask Jesus to come into your life and take it over, and that He would really do so!" Mary had taken this step, accepting God as her own Lord and becoming His servant, and singing His praises, 'My soul glorifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God My Savior." Behold, I stand at the door and knock." (Revelations: 3, 20).

  • Secondly, the step of praying for the 'Baptism of the Holy Spirit" which is the beginning of a release into our conscious awareness of the graces of the Holy Spirit, dwelling within us through the Sacraments. It is the step which for many opens the way to Infused contemplative prayer, and for others renews, strengthens and develops it. It is the beginning of a new life in the Spirit, in which knowledge and love of God becomes a personally experienced reality. It is meant to lead on to much more, such as a radical insertion into the mystery of the Body of Christ and a more powerful witness to the Gospel of Jesus.

He calls us; "Come to me: I shall give you living water welling up within your inner self. Come to me: I shall open your eyes to my radiance and loveliness. Come to me: I have a word for you and, have you ever heard the name I have for you?" (Rev 2,17).

Annunciation 1978, Father James Borst.

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