A Hermit With A Permit

Friday, May 1, 1998

Matthew 6:6 – But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

A friend invited me to a workshop in her church, which was to be conducted by an Anglican Priest. "There's a write-up about her on the religious page", she said, "they've called her the 'Hermit with a Permit.' ".

Sure enough, inside the paper, on the religious page, was the little article. The Priest would be conducting a workshop in "Contemplative Prayer" at 2 p.m. on such and such a date.

Now, I pray quite often but my mind wanders like the links on the Internet. I set to praying and a word will "link up" with something connected to it and I'm off in another direction. I have even prayed about being able to pray correctly. I just always figured there was something wrong either with me, or my mind.

Being at the stage in life where our kids are grown, it leaves more time to nourish my mind and soul which are similar to sponges eager to soak up whatever wonderful knowledge we choose to pursue…and this was something which piqued my interest and beckoned my presence.

Another friend came with me. There weren't very many of us, 20 maybe. Certainly not a good showing for a city of 75,000. What a wonderful experience! She was a tiny, well-grounded, soft-spoken woman who explained the difference between "Christian Meditative Prayer" and "Contemplative Prayer". The first thing she explained was how she was going to teach us to focus…as our minds tend to wander when they get a chance to be quiet… and she did.

Oh, and the bit about the "Hermit with a Permit"? She has been granted the "right" to take a vow of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. I hope she would get the same sort of respect were she to put the initials PCO after her name as she would were it to be PhD; MD; LLBC; CGA or any other readily recognizable degrees.

Prayer: Dear Lord, We thank you for those opportunities where we are guided to be closer to you. We thank you for our friends who share their time and their church with us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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