There was an interview in the Compass a few weeks back about Bishop Morneau as he retires from active ministry as a bishop. During the interview, Bp. Morneau is asked which of the many books he had written is his favorite. He names one of my favorite books: Spiritual Direction: A Path to Spiritual Maturity. Sadly this book is now out of print so here are ten principles of prayer explored in the first chapter:
- Prayer is essentially loving attention (see Jn. 17; Rm. 11:33-36).
- Prayer is proportionate to the quality of one’s love (see 1 Jn. 2:9-11; Lk 4:42-44).
- Genuine prayer demands some control over body and spirit (see Gal. 5:16-23; Mt. 4:1-17).
- In prayer, I must bring this me into the living and true God (see Judges 6:13; Rom. 7:14-25).
- Prayer’s primary focus is on God, not on self or on events (see Ps. 23; Gal. 2:17-21).
- Silence, solitude, and surrender are conditions for prayer (see Lk. 22:39-46; Mt. 6:5-6).
- The tone of prayer is one of reverence, wonder, and awe (see Is. 6:1-9; Ps. 118:5-7).
- God’s activity in prayer is more important than our activity (see Ps. 138; Jn. 6:44).
- There is no one way of prayer; pluralism in prayer must be carefully guarded and encouraged (see Col. 3:12-17; Lk. 4:42-44).
- Prayer leads to intimacy with God and to solidarity with all creation (see Ps. 139; Jer. 31:31-34).
These sound principles can form the basis of a lifetime of prayer. Thank you Bishop Morneau!
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood