Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dangerous Prayers

by Sara Regina Ryan

Deliver us, O God, O Truth, O Love, from quiet prayer
from polite and politically correct language,
from appropriate gesture and form
and whatever else we think we must put forth to invoke or praise You.
Let us instead pray dangerously—wantonly, lustily, passionately.
Let us demand with every ounce of our strength,
let us storm the gates of heaven, let us shake ourselves
and our plaster saints from the sleep of years.
Let us pray dangerously.
Let us throw ourselves from the top of the tower,
let us risk a descent to the darkest regions of the abyss,
let us put our head into the lion's mouth
and direct our feet to the entrance of the dragon's cave.
Let us pray dangerously.
Let us not hold back a little portion,
dealing out our lives—our precious minutes and our
energies—like some efficient accountant.
Let us rather pray dangerously—unsafe, profligate, wasteful!
Let us ask for nothing less than that the Infinite ravage us.
Let us ask for nothing less than annihilation in the
Fires of Love.
Let us not pray in holy half-measures nor walk
the middle path for too long, but pray madly, foolishly.
Let us be too ecstatic,
let us be too overwhelmed with sorrow and remorse,
let us be undone and dismembered...and gladly.
Left to our devices, ah what structures of deceit we have created;
what battlements erected, what labyrinths woven,
what traps set for ourselves, and then
fallen into. Enough.
Let us pray dangerously—hot prayer, wet prayer, fierce prayer,
fiery prayer, improper prayer,
exuberant prayer, drunken and completely unrealistic prayer.
Let us say Yes, again and again and again.
And Yes some more.
Let us pray dangerously, the most dangerous prayer is
always yes.