Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,
In this brief letter, Sr. Wendy Becket captures the very life of prayer and the deepest fears we often have about being loved and wanted so deeply by God. To be one who prays is to be willing to accept suffering and feeling defenseless in the face He who is Desire.
. . . What we cannot accept is that we are the beloved, or, to put it more concretely, speaking as Everyman, that I am the beloved. God longs for me, He presses on my heart with a tender, humble, hunger for me. He wants to possess me: when I let Him, it is prayer. Always His love drives Him to possess - one might call this the praying of living? And when we have time, He enters into His own like a king - what one might call pure prayer. The pain of prayer is frustrating His love, and the joy is assuaging it, however feebly. To be so loved and so wanted is so terrifying and so awful that we can see why we shrink from believing it.
Another thing we are chary of believing is that prayer is gift. We don't choose our own prayer (or it might be different!). God is the prayer, the Pray-er. All He wants is that we accept, suffer, be involved, be left defenseless. I think one might easily die of it, yet what could be simpler?
Sister Wendy Beckett