I came across this gem in my reading and wanted to share it with you all. I hope it challenges you to quit praying and do something.
An elderly nun came to see a spiritual director. She shared with him the story of a young nun who had just left their community. The elderly nun had very much liked this young nun and appreciated the spark and vigor she brought to the community. For a year, though, she’d noticed that the young nun was obviously in distress, agonizing as to whether or not she should leave the community and as to whether, indeed, the community even wanted her. So the elderly nun prayed for the young nun, prayed that she might stay, prayed that she might realize that she was wanted and valued, prayed that God might give her the strength to see beyond her doubts. But she never went, at any time, and talked to the young nun. She never told her how much the community appreciated the gift that she, the young nun, was. Now she was upset that the young nun had left.
The point is obvious. The elderly nun prayed as a theist and not as a Christian. She never put skin to her prayer. She never concretely involved herself in trying to bring about what she was asking God to do. She left things up to God. But how was God to let the young nun know that she was appreciated inside the community when the community itself would never tell her that? When we pray “through Christ” more is involved than merely asking God in heaven to make some kind of intervention. The community too, and we ourselves, must be involved not just in the petition but also in trying to bring about what the petition pleads for.
The Holy Longing p 83-84
Do you ever find yourself praying as a theist?