Thursday, June 18, 2020

Just Pray

Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion…There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you ... if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open...You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a...divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive... 

We came upon these words by the renowned dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, and oddly enough they spoke to us of prayer. If, as Merton once recommended, to be contemplatives we must forget ourselves and join in the "general dance" of all creation, then Graham's words become somehow a teaching on prayer. As prayers we must forget ourselves and simply fall back into Christ's mercy and pray and beg and trust and entrust ourselves to the groaning of the Holy Spirit of God who speaks on our behalf. Our duty is faithfulness and "showing up" - being attentive to Christ's presence. 

Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6