11th Step Weekly Readings

How Do We Pray?

St. Paul said that we do not know how to pray, but the Spirit prays within us.  (Romans 8:26) This is the key to understanding the real meaning of Christian prayer.

It suggests that we learn to pray not by trying to pray, but by giving up, or letting go, of our trying. And instead, learning to be.

This opens access to the deeper prayer of the heart where we can find the ‘love of God flooding our inmost heart through the Holy Spirit he has given us” (Romans 6:5) This is pure experience, beyond thought, dogma and imagination.

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What is Prayer?

A very old definition of prayer described it as “the raising of the heart and mind to God.”  What is the “mind”?  What is the “heart?”

The mind is what thinks – it question, plans, worries, fantasizes. The heart is what knows – it loves. The mind is the organ of knowledge, the heart the organ of love.

Mental consciousness must eventually give way and open up to the fuller way of knowing which is heart consciousness.   Love is complete knowledge.

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Meeting the Other

Truth lies behind every fear. To find it we must unmask the fear.

At some point along the journey we begin to understand that meditation is teaching us the most important of all lessons: how to love and be loved. We learn this lesson not intellectually but with the incarnate reality of our life…learning it establishes a bond between us and the world we live in.
Whatever benefits may accrue to us through our meditation, they are not there merely for us to possess.  They become the common benefit of all, because there is less and less of an ego to possess the peace, joy and liberty that meditation brings.

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Total Transformation

Our meditation is essentially a response to the direct summons of the gospel to leave self behind.  It is heard by each one of us personally and uniquely because the Spirit of Jesus which makes the call felt, dwells within the heart of each person uniquely.

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We all begin the journey of meditation enchained, addicted to different things – to sweets, to self-indulgence, to fantasy, to the past.  And we all begin the path of meditation at different points. 

The path of meditation leads us out of all slavery, all enchainment.  It is a way of liberty.
It is only necessary to begin exactly where we are and to follow the road that stretches out before us.

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