A cold dusty winter edging into a cold green spring.
God told me to do it. Reading a report which claims that Pope Benedict XVI resigned after ‘a mystical experience’ in which the Lord gave rise in his heart to an ‘absolute desire’ to remain alone with him in prayer.
In my experience most religious institutions don’t care much for the mystical, not least because the mystical defies many of our prized categories of rational or logical or realistic discourse. But the great mystics in every religious or faith tradition bear witness not only to the unknowability of the Divine, they also point to what is most unexpected and unpredictable in our life of prayer, that prayer is a dangerous activity that changes us and leads us into places we would rather not go.
Conversion of the heart is a human impossibility and yet this is how God works, taking from us the heart of stone and giving us a heart that can bleed, suffer and rejoice.