Wind, Rain, Cold, and Prayer

Fr. Ron Rolheisher makes a good point about prayer:

Our prayer and spiritual quests are not enough connected to nature. For all of our good intentions and hard work, we are too-platonic, too much trying to have our souls transformed while our bodies sit warm, safe, and uninvolved. The physical elements of nature and our own bodies play too small a role in our efforts to grow spiritually.

It’s a lesson he learned from the Spiritual Exercises.  Read about it here.

About Jim Manney 753 Articles
Jim Manney is the author of highly praised popular books on Ignatian spirituality, including A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer (about the Daily Examen) and God Finds Us (about the Spiritual Exercises). He is the compiler/editor of An Ignatian Book of Days. His latest book is Ignatian Spirituality A to Z. He and his wife live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

7 Comments on Wind, Rain, Cold, and Prayer

  1. We can connect with Him through nature because His Essence pervades all of existence and Is the underlying totality of all that exists. Therefore, God and Nature are one and the same. It’s in interactive Universe. We are constantly interacting with attracter partners beyond our conception. The Energy of nature seems to be vitally important for life as it shows up as a prefect interaction of Life and matter. When we walk in a field of flowers we help scatter pollen to other flowers. Try connecting in a space of Love and Reverence in the space of Nature. Try Loving a plant or hugging a tree or being gentle with the grass or bugs, or planting some flowers. God Loves it when you Love Him in all the Life forms he expresses Him Self in. The Lord wants us to take care of nurture and all of Life. To be his good stewards. It is a gift to do so and is the gift that keeps on giving. Peace and Love. Namaste. Dave. Glory to God in the Highest!

  2. I remember my 8 -day retreat. For the Passion day, our spiritual director suggested that we meditate in our bedrooms, dark and curtains shut.

    In college, I loved sitting on the benches outside. The cool breeze, chirping birds and dappled morning sunlight through the branches… Prayers of gratitude and praise came naturally in such a beautiful place.

    I remember reading somewhere than when we are in nature, sometimes we are praying without even realizing it.

  3. Last week I stood on top of a 1400 foot cliff and looked out over a bay on the Pacific, filled to the brim with 1300 feet deep fog and my first thought was “who has cupped in his hand the waters of the seas?” So many of the Psalms are filled with images of the physical, of the everyday, of our own bodies, “my tongue cleaved to my palate” … it seems to me that this is a way God intends for us to pray!

    And I will admit to a similar experience when making the Exercises, except it was the First Week and I landed in a dusty and dim basement laundry room instead of the gorgeous chapel!

  4. This article was wonderful, so comforting to me. For many years I felt most at home with God when I was outdoors, but at the same time, I felt guilty because it didn’t “feel” like prayer in the traditional sense. The type of prayer I was taught as a child.

    Then I encountered St Ignatius and the Exercises. Now my prayer often involves being outside, walking alone, at home in God’s wonderful creation. On those days when I pray indoors, I sit near a window so I can pray with the elements – sun, wind, birds, trees, clouds etc.

    I feel so much closer to the Spirit when I am immersed in Creation.

  5. Jim, thank you for sharing Fr. Rolheiser’s thought-provoking article. We need to challenge ourselves more in our spiritual lives as we endeavoour to live in closer relationship with God.

  6. Where else but nature would we realize how insignificant we are and therefore God looks even bigger, more powerful, real than he does in our comfortable living room.

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