Friday, November 19, 2021

Prayer without works is…

To most people, thinking is a thing that grows in the hothouse of logic, separated from the atmosphere of character and of everyday living. They consider it possible for a man to be unscrupulous and yet to write well about righteousness. Others may disagree with this view. However, all of us, mindful of the ancient distinction between lip service and the service of the heart, agree that prayer is not a hothouse plant of temples but a shoot that grows in the soil of life, springing from widespread roots hidden in all our needs and deeds. Vicious needs, wicked deeds, felt or committed today, are like rot cankering the roots of tomorrow's prayer. A hand used in crime is an ax laid to the roots of worship.» It is as Isaiah said: “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; Yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of blood.” Life is fashioned by prayer, and prayer is the quintessence of life.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 346–47

No comments: