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Perpetual communion

"... I am in the Father and the Father is in me..." John 14.11

Such is the intimacy between God and Son that it is as if each inhabits the other - in the embrace of the Holy Spirit: three in one and one in three. Surely there cannot be room for anyone else in such close and divine communion? Not perhaps in terms of what we understand as the "God-head" - that is to say, God transcending creation in terms of his glory and his deserving of our worship. Yet, in terms of the intimacy of our devotion, there is not only space but an open invitation to share communion with God at the deepest and most intimate level. And the key is prayer - of a particular kind.

The kind of praying to which I refer is not the formal liturgical prayers we say in church, or the daily litany of requests we may use in our regular "quiet time". It is what the mystics refer to as "perpetual", like breathing - so that it becomes unconscious. Immediately we might object that, if our praying becomes unconscious, surely it loses its point and becomes irrelevant? Not at all. Would we say that breathing is irrelevant? Far from it. As breathing is essential for physical life, so perpetual praying is essential for a healthy spiritual life.

In pursuit of perpetual praying we can learn from the animal kingdom. Cows and eagles and dolphins glorify the Creator by their unmistakable, undivided living - as cows, eagles and dolphins. Yet, on account of the myriad temptations and distractions constantly invading our lives, human-beings struggle to live human-ly. Choosing to focus on God, via a simple prayer like "God, have mercy on me, a sinner" reminds us of who we are, in relation to our Creator. Its integration into our lives by constant repetition will transform our awareness and our behaviour - towards God and towards our human and creaturely neighbours. And this is just the start...



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