When We Pray–Detachment

August 28, 2015 |

WhenWePray_edited-3Modern spiritual writers see detachment as important for prayer, especially detachment from any particular forms of prayer, even of the highest form of prayer itself, because it too can obstruct real significant union with God. Prayer is not God, but a direct way to the ‘experience’ of God. What is sought in prayer is fidelity (emphasis mine). Before Jesus could do anything for anyone who requested it of Him, He always looked for and expected some sign of faith, for example, in the cleansing of the leper (Mk: 1:23-28; 1: 29-31; 1: 40-450, and in the healing of the paralytic (Mark: 2:1-12). Of all virtues utilized in prayer, fidelity is the most called for by God. He wants fidelity above all else. Jesus could never be effective without the fidelity of those around him. In these ideas, expressed above, modern spiritual writers seem not to deviate from earlier writers on prayer. They have learned a great deal from the mystics, the monks, hermits and early saints.

1. What does “detachment” in life and prayer mean to you? Why do you think it is important?
2. To demonstrate your meaning, point to an example or two of how you see or have experienced this detachment in your life or in others you have lived or worked with or ministered to. (Look to your past).
3. Why do you think that God expects “fidelity” before he acts in your life?
4. Where have you had some of the best “experiences” of God in your life? Were these experiences alone or with others? (You might want to journal about this.)
5. After your reflection, how will you make your meditation fruitful in your personal life?

Ivan Cormac Marsh
Fr. Ivan Cormac Marsh has worked extensively in ministry on the parish, university, retreat center and seminary levels. He has a doctorate in the area of spirituality and ministry and lectures on spiritual direction in the United States and Canada. He lives in Tucson, AZ.
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