September 8, 2008
Julian Meditations

August, 2008

Transcending Our Prison of Pain

by Brian C. Taylor

THE PRACTICE OF CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER brings us to the cross. Certainly life will do the same, but in contemplative prayer we are given a way of working with the cross. The difficulties of our lives will arise in silence with God, and God will not magically fix or take them away.

We must learn patience and humility, sitting through our pain with an open heart. We must learn to just be present to God with our difficulties. Instead of closing down around them we open it up in love and adoration, in complete trust and vulnerability. By doing so, our pain is joined to God, and it is redeemed. We are transformed. Our suffering is no longer just "ours," a private possession: it is part of the pain of the world, part of the cross.

Gazing at the cross, our private suffering is lifted up into Christ, who shares it and thus helps us transcend our prison of pain. But even more than that, Christ redeems our suffering, moving us into resurrection so that we are made new people in him.

Taken from Becoming Christ: Transformation Through Contemplation by Brian C. Taylor (Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications, 2002) p. 207,8.