“We should seek not so much to pray but to become prayer.”
― St. Francis of Assisi
In a quiet moment, ask yourself this: “Who am I without my self-image?”
What does such a question even mean? What does it serve to ask this?
The answer comes to you right away from your soul, whether you acknowledge it or not.
It is simply this…you are meant to know more than what is directly before you. More of what? More of your true self, the soul self in human form who has a purpose and mission here on this earth. And you are meant to live out that purpose and mission, whatever they may be, with the full passion of your heart and being.
Doing this brings us not only a deep and abiding and expanding awareness of who we are, but gradually carries us far beyond our self-imposed limitations that have been based on the self-image we have assumed and accepted as real — until now. We begin to allow spirituality to be active deep inside us, so natural to our being that it becomes the default of how we interact with the world all the time. We cease to feel and see barriers between us and everyone and everything around us.
This is what St. Francis of Assisi meant when he wrote
We should seek not so much to pray but to become prayer.
Yet we are human, not saints ourselves — most of us, anyway! We experience things that hold darkness and melancholy. We see a world beset with privation and troubles, with a chaos and violence that can bring us to our knees.
But we forget these things are not all there is. They are — if we let them be — just fleeting experiences from which we learn more, always and always seeing more clearly, feeling more and more how we are able to live and offer our truest self at every level without conditions attached. We become able to let go of what does not serve our soul, for sure, be that people or ideas or things — yet we do so not with judgment or condemnation, but with love and gratitude for their brief presence in our life. Because we begin to understand that without exception what we feel and experience has a purpose that leads us every time closer to God.
Ah, you say, not always easy to manage.
But it is also not something we are meant to manage. For if we sense deep within ourselves that we are willing to “become prayer” — living our lives as a constant prayer — manifestation — of thanksgiving, of awe, of grace and love — we find we easily move past the limitations that show up. They become lessons, or instructions, from God, we complete our learning from them, and then we move on to the next experience that appears before us.
How can you do this? In any situation that feels difficult or sad or angry or even desperate and troublesome in any way, take a few moments to look at it while asking “What is the meaning of this — what is it here to show me?”
An answer always comes, an impression of a thought on your mind or a feeling that enters your heart. Hold on to what you receive a few moments more, and you will understand better not only what is going on, but why it is happening to you. And you go on from there with new wisdom.
For in truth, from the very beginning of your life, you have been loved by God, and your eternal self is perfect. This experience on earth is just that, experience. When you look at it with a feeling of interest and wonder and acceptance, the whole earth benefits, for you have offered another way of seeing and being that lives in joy and a peaceful heart, no matter what.
You live not in prayer, but as prayer. And so everything around you is transformed.