Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > AdventSurrenderOnPrayer > Page 3


Advent Surrender: On Prayer

Page 3

Surrender, then, is not the loss of anything; rather it entails openness to the vitality of Christ, the Thriving Life of Divinity. And, this is well illustrated in John 15:

1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing…. (ESV)

Surrendering, then, is the ongoing act, which removes one from the poverty of self-reliance to the gift of Eternal Life, now, in this very moment. To surrender is like the branch acknowledging, in thought and experience, that its very life is reliant on the Life it receives from its Source, or the Vine, and its good is reliant on the Good.

Therefore, your contemplative practice is a renunciation of even your own goodness, which will inevitably block your enjoyment of Grace. We set aside time daily to sit in this Calm, open in Loving Openness to the Christ within, as a practice of learning to release our resistances to Divine Providence and to learn the joys of abdicating all sense of personalized privilege. In giving all, then, we receive all.

Evelyn Underhill, in her The Golden Sequence, speaks well of this “prayer of simple recollection”:

Yet, because this prayer is indeed a supernatural act, a movement of spirit towards Spirit, it is an act which the natural creature can never begin or complete in his own power. Though it seems to him to be by his own free choice and movement that he lifts up his soul towards God, it is in truth this all-penetrating God, who by His secret humble pressure stirs man to make this first movement of will and love. The apparent spontaneity, the exercise of limited freedom—genuinely ours, and most necessary to the soul’s health—are yet entirely dependent on this prevenient and overruling Presence, acting with power and gentleness in the soul’s ground. Progress in prayer is perhaps most safely measured in our increasing recognition of this action, the extent in which Spirit ‘prays in us’ and we co-operate with it: till, in the apparently passive and yet most powerful prayer of the great contemplative, the consciousness of our own busy activity is entirely lost in the movement of Divine will, and the soul is well content to ‘let Another act in her.’

Underhill is cautious to remind us that Silent Prayer is a willed passivity. This willed passivity is an act of will to bring our Will into union with the Divine Will, even if we do not know the contents of that Divine Will. That is, one does not have to know the full Will of God to surrender to God, and in surrendering to God, one offers oneself to be transformed to meet the particular callings to fulfill that over-all Will in one’s own life. Thus, the willed passivity is a joyful release of even one’s scurrying and busy need to discover the Will of God. Rather, in this passivity, one opens oneself to discover the Will of God, within God’s times and by means of God’s designs, and the consequent transformation involves pliability to the mysterious overtures of active and activating Love.

Pages:  [ 1 ]  [ 2 ]  3 


Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > AdventSurrenderOnPrayer > Page 3

©Brian Wilcox 2024