O God, you are my God, for you I long. For you my soul is thirsting; my body pines for you like a dry weary land without water. So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory. For your love is better than life; my lips will speak your praise.
In these words from Psalm 63 we hear the monk's longing for the Lord, who first longs to give himself. As the monk gazes on the Lord, the Lord gazes back. An essential part of the monk's work is realizing that God always makes the first move, that God loved us first, that our prayer, all that we do, is simply response.
True prayer is somehow about mutuality, we are not throwing out words into the unknown. For Christ Jesus always makes the first move; he wants to reveal himself, engage us. Grace precedes us, opens the way. We realize above all that if we desire union with Christ, he wants it more than we do.