Prayer is a word we take for granted. Ought we to do so?
What do we mean by prayer? What does the word mean in the Christian context? Almost always when we talk about prayer we refer to something we DO. From that standpoint, questions problems, confusion, discouragement and illusions multiply. For Burrows it is essential to correct this view. Our Christian knowledge assures us that prayer is essentially what God DOES, how God addresses us, looks at us. And what God is doing for us is giving us the Divine Self in love.
What then is the core of the central message of the revelation of Jesus? It is the unconditional love of God for us, for each one of us. God the unutterable, incomprehensible Mystery, the Reality of all reality, the Life of all Life. And this means that divine Love desires to communicate its Holy Self to us.
This is the richness of the vision of a contemplative nun who contradicts the heresy of so much modern writing about the spiritual like- namely that we reach God by running faster. The growing fascination for the public of the contemplative and monastic life is evidence of the profound appeal of this approach. For this there is a real hunger. At its simplest we do no look for success so as to be assured that we do believe. We give ourselves over completely to divine love. Ultimately, we live for God and not for ourselves.
Ruth Burrows is a Carmelite Nun from Quidenham in Norfolk, UK. She is the author of a number of bestselling books including Guidelines for Mystical Prayer and Essence of Prayer.
Ruth Burrows, the experienced Carmelite writer: hard-headed, warm-hearted, helpful and positive about Gods universal invitation to prayer.
- Christopher Howse, The Tablet
This is a book that should chance lives. Its central message is that everyone can pray....Essence of Pray is a collection of short essays on prayer. Surprisingly, this structure works better than a book hammered out to a continuous shape, because there is a chance to avoid misunderstanding by coming at a subject from a difference angle.
- Christopher Howse
It is useful as spiritual reading that will help the prayer and Christian lives of men and women living in the world. For that, it can be recommended.
- Prebendary John Gaskell, Church Times
a valuable contribution to the vast array of books offering advice and encouragement to Christians on the subject of prayer. This book is full of insights...Ruth Burrows...reflections are thought-provoking and described with encouragement and simplicity.
- John Mann, Church of Ireland Gazette, February 2007
"The person who has most clearly written about this area in our own times is Ruth Burrows in books such as Essence of Prayer"
- Christopher Howse,
Here is a major contribution from the pen of a well-known writer on spiritual themes...An impressive offfering...different from her earlier works, and well worth a little study.
- Elizabeth CSF, Franciscan