Prayer of Friends

by Lori DeGiorgio, RDC

 

I am never far from you in prayer and that communion which above all shadows and beneath all vicissitudes knows no change.

THOMAS S. PRESTON to MOTHER MARY VERONICA STARR

 

It is in one Spirit that all of us, whether Greek or Jew, slave or free, were baptized into one body. If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy.

1 CORINTHIANS 12:13,26

 

We think of the womb as a place of mystery where the ember of new life is nurtured into being, into a unique consciousness. It is utterly dark within, and yet the first chapter of the Gospel according to Luke provides evidence for the Light of inner vision, the essential instrument of our developing communion with the other through God.

We hear Elizabeth say to Mary, “the moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby in my womb leapt for joy!

At our current level of informed sophistication we could posit that Elizabeth’s baby merely responded to a surge in his mother’s endorphins! That might well be so. Elizabeth was surely overjoyed to see her cousin. But that baby was more than a collection of chemicals, elegantly responsive to his milieu and purposefully interlinked as they were. He was a being filled with God’s life force, and he was connected through that life force not only to his mother but to her cousin Mary and to the Child she bore. And so it is equally possible that the baby who in time would become John the Baptist recognized in some way and happily greeted him who would become Jesus the Christ. He used another form of vision, completely independent of his developing eyes and a network of nerves. He used an inner vision that knows we are parts of the One Whole.

Questions arise. Perhaps among the most important questions of our times, “what is the nature of the connection among us?” How do we use our inner vision to enhance our awareness of this union? How do our spiritual energies affect not only ourselves but everything around us? This is the stuff of thought, emotions, and especially, of prayer.

Our prayer is formed before we utter the words, and it pulses out from our cores into the field of friendship in which God holds us all. We direct our prayer to God, and we must recognize that it can’t help but touch our loved ones energetically. As we pray, all are magnified. It does not matter one bit if we are praying in gratitude or in desperation; communion is enhanced. The spiritual energy existing among us increases and stirs us to support each other in troubled times and to celebrate the joyful times, both aspects of compassion.

We have all had the experience of a sudden elation or sadness that had nothing to do with what was happening with us, only to learn later that a loved one was feeling very up or very down, evidence of our inner vision at work. We need to learn to name these happenings as affirmation of our spiritual communion, and to foster them. As we learn the stories of new acquaintances, they become part of our web of light, and so we go, and so we grow.

The nature of this energy may be light. Some scientists have suggested that our connectedness is simply light contained within our cells that emanates out into the world and joins with the light of others. Perhaps we don’t appreciate this notion for the same reason the mother fish in a story couldn’t describe water to her child; we are floating within and at the same time contributing to a matrix of light’s energy, day or night, awake or asleep. We can’t not be connected in this way. It would be amazing to climb above our realm and look down upon the light field of loving energies, and realize that the “space” between individuals is growing smaller.

 

For the eternal unfolding of your holy word,

God of Compassion, we give you thanks.

 

For your Spirit’s presence within the core of each of us,

God of Compassion, we give you thanks.

 

For the capacity to touch and nurture each other’s souls through our prayer, 

God of Compassion, we give you thanks.

 

For the evolving awareness of our fundamental connectedness,

God of Compassion, we give you thanks.

 

For the gift of the Christ who reveals your loving desire for communion throughout creation,

God of Compassion, we give you thanks.

The Visitation by Carl Bloch