What I have found most deeply nourishing is simply to pray ‘Thy Kingdom come’ as a way of saying ‘yes’ to abundance. Saying ‘yes’ to an abundance of being - not an abundance having a lot.
This prayer has become for me not so much a plea for forgiveness in the heavenly courts but a vital practice drawing me into the dark wisdom of the divine feminine. Looking back on the past year from this perspective it seems quite possible to say that I have been unexpectedly ‘gifted’ with very painful ‘reasons’ needing forgiveness. So no wonder I have been gripped by the prayer.
Throughout this time I have had a sense of sacred midwifery taking place to carefully bring to term a merciful state of soul - a state of soul utterly inconceivable to my ego mind. And from where I am standing I know that nothing comes easy in difficult and dangerous pregnancies such as these – but Her urgings and wise remedies are so distinctly there.
Take care to guard your heart in the early days
tend the pain body that flies off leaving you
beside yourself as it gathers force out there.
Bring that poor thing home to your soft body.
Take care to watch the depth charge of thoughts
feeding shame and blame and fear to sicken
even abort what is just beginning to show.
Bring your hurt mind home to your soft body.
Take care to practice the slow exhale out
of the clean cool air you just breathed in.
Trust your soft body to rehearse forgivings
one forgoing, one dying and rising at a time.
Feed your soft body with fertility songs
remind your cells of unimaginable conceptions
of Sarah who laughed, Elizabeth who blessed
Mary who said yes, be it unto me and it is still.
And when the merciful water breaks
labour will still take as long as it needs
even a thousand thousand bearings down
and a hundred crowning moments.
But stay, stay in the body of hope, trust us!
In blood and mess forgiveness always streams
from between our thighs and from here
peace beyond understanding is born again.
More than before I am reluctant to speculate on what kind of nourishment my own soul needs. Let alone what anyone else needs!
More than ever before when I reach this juncture of the prayer I go towards the ‘how’ of contemplative asking that simply waits to be fed from the Heart. It is a manner of asking for nourishment that waits to receive even the desire to be nourished by goodness, beauty and truth.
More than before I get drawn in by a hidden possibility in these over familiar words when they are seen in the light of what Christian mysticism calls spiritual recollection – namely all the faculties of the whole person gathered and collected up in prayer.
So I wonder - what might be happening in utterly whole-hearted, utterly dependent praying for our daily bread?
Ask with the whole sum of your self!
Ask with all the might of deep soul longings
singing in harmony with your highest thoughts
already quivering in every cell of your body.
Ask for your bread with care!
Know that words such as these
are heard in the furthest galaxy;
know that this spare phrase
can rupture and re-orders time itself
and the very sounding of it can
bring awesome things into form.
Ask for bread fervently!
Ask with the fiercest heat
of longing you can muster;
give thanks for each portion of grace
as it is remembered from its origin,
fetched out from future fullness
into what is sufficient for today.
Ask with a quiet heart!
Keep vigil for a whole purifying night
waiting for the Beloved to drip feed
your desire for truth-telling
infusing the acts and words
that will speak to this day’s need.
Then petition boldly for loves sake.
Ask for the yeast of forgiveness.
for ingredients of healing,
for the rising of justice
for the taste of wisdom
that will suffice for this day.
"It was, and is, an opening up of dark chasms and hidden caverns where the prayer ‘may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ echoes off surfaces so newly exposed. Thy will be done on earth – yes, in this too! And so it is with greater need and urgency that I have reflected on some of the spiritual writings."