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Saturday, March 20, 2010

THE FOUR WATERS (Excerpt) forwarded by Cynthia

The Four Waters

"The beginner must realise that in order to give delight

to the Lord he is starting to cultivate a garden on a barren

soil, full of abominable weeds. His Majesty pulls up the

weeds and plants good seed. Now let us keep in mind that

all of thi is already done by the time a soul is determined to

practice prayer and has begun to make use of it. And with

the help of God we must strive like good gardeners to get these

plants to grow and take pains to water them so that they don't

wither but come to bud and flower and give forth a most pleasant

fragrance to provide refreshment for this Lord of ours.

It seems to me that the garden can be watered in four ways.

You may draw water from the well (which is for us a lot of work).

Or you may get it by means of water wheel and aqueducts in such a

way that it is obtained by turning the crank of the water wheel.

Or it may flow from a river or a stream. (The garden is watered much

better by this means because the ground is fully soaked, and there is

no need to water so frequently --- and much less work for the gardener).

Or the water may be provided by a lot of rain. (For the Lord waters the

garden without any work on our part).

The four types of watering can be compared to four stages in prayer.

The initial stage was to embrace the cross, to want to give rather than

to receive. Prayer is a relationship between the believer and God,

and as that relationship becomes more intense, the emphasis passes from

the believer to God.

Our life becomes a continuing growth in self-giving, and as our self-giving is

challenged by dryness and trials, we grow by giving just the same. Obstacles

and sufferings do not destroy real love, but simply offer an opportunity to

bloom. So, in overcoming the trials of early stages of prayer, wegrow in love

and our Beloved resonds by assuming more and more control of the

relationship of love that we have with him."

St. Teresa of Avila

Source: Walker, David. God is a Sea: the dynamics of Christian living.

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