Monday, January 18, 2010

Give us this day for bread the Word of God

“Give us this day for bread the Word of God from Heaven” says a version of the Lord’s Prayer found in the ancient Irish Gospels,” writes Evelyn Underhill as she concludes her discussion of the request for daily bread in the Lord’s Prayer. Her next paragraph, contains just five sentences. Each one is packed with a depth of insight that will deepen our understanding of the Lord’s Prayer:

“God gives Himself mainly along two channels: through the soul’s daily life and circumstances and through its prayer. In both that soul must always be ready for Him; wide open to receive Him, and willing to accept and absorb without fastidiousness that which is given, however distasteful and unsuitable it may seem. For the Food of Eternal Life is mostly plain bread; and though it has indeed all sweetness and all savour for those who accept it with meekness and love, there is nothing in it to attract a more fanciful religious taste. All life’s vicissitudes, each grief, trial or sacrifice, each painful step in self-knowledge, every opportunity of love or renunciation and every humiliating fall, have their place here.

“All give, in their various ways and disguises, the heavenly Food. A sturdy realism is the mark of this divine self-imparting, and the enabling grace of those who receive” (Abba by Evelyn Underhill, in Treasures from the Spiritual Classics, 1982, Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, PA, third printing , 1996, pages 41-43; a compilation of extracts from Abba, 1940, Longmans Green & Co Ltd).

What type of heavenly bread have you enjoyed today? Did you pray for any type of bread today? When you pray, are you "wide open to receive Him, and willing to accept and absorb" without complaint what He supplies?

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