A Prayerful Sanctuary

John Evans © 2019

The deepest form of commitment is through prayer, and I hear this from women of wisdom. Women, as if touched by the very gracious boundaries from within the heart are blessed with a deep gratitude for everything life has to offer. Women are a true life-force of gratitude and love, mercy and of being, of sorrow and of redemption. In fact, I believe women are bound by the redemptive qualities of their individual creative faiths. Deep down into our very own spiritual DNA are embedded a rising need for these redemptive qualities. In fact, it is the very essence of knowing these sacred cycles of life by that which we are all bound through our very humanity that teaches us a humility so rare, and so deep, the lower we go, the more we shall know.

Over twenty years ago I began my own search for deepening my prayer life. I searched and searched, discovering many doors to travel through. One of my deepest recollections was the Spring morning in 1998 as I drove to visit the monastery in Kendalia, Texas. The morning was beautiful. The monastery was in her beginning stages. The Holy Archangels Greek Orthodox Monastery was a place of rare beauty. I visited with the priest for well over two hours with great discussion on the church, life, scripture, humanity, and of course, God. I was invited to lunch by the Abbot and was asked to spend time with all the brothers overnight. We had lunch and the prayerful bounty of food as one brother (or priest), recited prayers in a very humble state of grace. I was touched by the ceremony. I only recall wishing I would have stayed the night. I know I would have been richly blessed.

Our prayerful faith ignites the fire within our hearts as we search for a relationship with the one Supreme God of heaven and earth. Traveling through the doorway of faith and prayer, traveling over so much desert sands, leaving home to discover home, and for these I am grateful. This prayerful sanctuary rests within a very special place. As I delve further upon this query to discover more meaning, more depth to life, a tangible relationship with others, and with the Almighty God of us all, it remains essential for us to come to know the bitterness of exile to come to a grateful standoff with our Lord. He rewards us for our kindness. Our faith. Our sufferings. But, most of all, he rewards us with his love. His mercy. His compassion. Because we are weak and human, and for these reasons by his creative redemptive nature, we are saved.

I learnt all I could experience of the desert mothers and fathers. I spoke with vocational priests in the Roman Catholic Church. I embraced the catechism. It spoke truths I had not encountered. Lay persons were beneficial. I have searched, and searched, and have discovered truth through prayer and a steadfast devotional love for Christ. I discovered all I was learning lead me to God. The story is beautiful. The journey is well worth the pebbles of adversity we crush beneath our feet. The end is in sight and a clear passageway to the One who first loved us, his treasure, is within our very hearts. Perhaps, a day will arrive when we all share this common thread bound only through love, faith, and prayer. All I may conclude with is, I pray so. Peace be with you all.