Friday, July 31, 2015

Unveiled Praying

In 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 Paul writes: "Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

To authentically pray is to turn toward the Lord with an unveiled mind, heart, and soul. As I pray, God wants to lift the veil over my face and into-me-see ("intimacy"). 

Thomas Merton comments: "The Spirit is given to me, the veil is removed from my heart, that I reflect "with open face" the glory of Christ. It would be easy to remain with one's heart veiled, and it is not by any wisdom of my own, but by God's gift, that it is unveiled."

God sees behind any barrier I erect between myself and him. 

I meet people who fear going to God because God will search them out and expose their imperfect inner selves. Imagine a doctor who knows you have a physical heart problem. You refuse to have him order an MRI because you are afraid he will discover that you have a heart problem.

Apparently God allows us the choice of living veiled or unveiled, even though he sees behind the veil. This is an act of his grace. He won't force himself upon us, but invites us to be voluntarily vulnerable. Just that thought makes me want to remove the veil over my heart when I come to God.

It's easy to remain veiled before God, but this makes life harder. In faking it before God I become an actor, and acting takes work. To live unveiled before God is freedom. Unveiled living is the gateway to the experience of God's love, mercy, and grace. It becomes the foundation for holy living. It is the portal to contemplation of God.