December 6th, 2014| Topic: RaMbLeS | 2


Pico Iyer, the British writer of Indian origin, recently wrote a book, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.

He bemoans our degree of busyness, the intensity of our distractions, the inability to be still.

We’ve lost our Sundays, our weekends, our nights off— our holy days, as some would have it; our bosses, junk mailers, our parents can find us wherever we are, at any time of day or night. More and more of us feel like emergency-room physicians, permanently on call, required to heal ourselves but unable to find the prescription for all the clutter on our desk.”

Maybe it’s all an attempt to escape the dirge like existence many lead in this world, disquieted, frustrated, miserable. The French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, said: “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries.”

Iyer agrees. But he recommends meditation, not distraction, as a means of decluttering or minds and lives. He tells a story of Gandhi who, one morning, upon waking up, said, ““This is going to be a very busy day. I won’t be able to meditate for an hour.” His friends were surprised by this departure from his standard discipline, until he added, “I’ll have to meditate for two.”

That reminded me of Martin Luther, who replied to someone asking him about his plans for the next day: “I plan to work, work, from early till late. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours of the day in prayer.”

Now that is a sound idea. In fact, Jesus would agree.

Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.
Luke 5:16

If He, the only begotten of the Father, the Son of God, sought to pray so often, how much more we? If the perfect, sinless, second Person of the Trinity prayed, and prayed often, shouldn’t we?

He prayed at His baptism.

Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized,
and while He was praying, heaven was opened.
Luke 3:21

He prayed at the beginning of His ministry.

It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray,
and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.
And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them.
Luke 6:12–13

He prayed at his Transfiguration.

And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different,
and His clothing became white and gleaming.
Luke 9:29

He prayed in Gethsemane, sweating blood, and He prayed on the cross, in throes of death. Indeed, his last words on earth before he died was a prayer.

And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said,
“Father, into your hands I commit My spirit.”
Having said this, He breathed His last.
Luke 23:46

He prayed all the time. And He continues to pray, mediating for us, before God the Father.

And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
1 John 2:1

And we? We have no time to pray! That’s probably the most common reason for not praying—no time! We, average Americans, can, however, spend 1,512 hours a year (63 days, 9 whole weeks) watching television.

God himself accused his people:

Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob;
But you have become weary of Me, O Israel.”
Isaiah 43:22

Weary! No time! Jesus would say, “Too much work to do? Then pray more!”

Orare est laborare, as the Benedictines would say: “To pray is to work.”

Let’s work harder!


  1. Pablo December 6, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    What a refreshing reminder, thank you, Dr. Kuruvilla!


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