LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Just being together . . .

fr Simon Tugwell OP said that when we are with our friends, we don’t think about them; we are just with them . . . and I think there’s a lot in that. If you have to think about the people you’re with, then you probably aren’t deep enough inside their skin to be totally comfortable with them; and although that may not prove that you’re not friends, it probably means that the friendship is fairly new.

A few times in my life I have been lucky enough to meet someone with whom, from the very first, I have been so close and comfortable that it is as though we have always known each other; and that, I have always felt, is a great touchstone of friendship . . . that it’s totally, unthinkingly, natural; as natural, in fact, as being with yourself, so that you often have no need to talk : just to be together, as by that you exchange all that needs to be exchanged.

Prayer is sometime regarded – certainly quite often in the Dominican tradition – as an act of friendship : so that in theory we are as close to God, at least in prayer in its highest form, as to our closest friend. The problem is that, as fr Timothy Radcliffe OP says ‘As there are no techniques for friendship, we really have no technique of prayer’.

However, he also suggests that ‘prayer is putting ourselves in God’s presence’; and when we think of it, isn’t that what friendship is all about ? Simply finding it entirely natural to be with someone, to be comfortable with them ?

I can’t give any answers as to how to achieve that; except to give God time to find Himself comfortable with us; or rather, to allow us to find ourselves comfortable with Him, so that we can experience that togetherness with Him which will grant us the closest experience of God we can until – by His grace and love – we come to be with Him for ever in heaven.


  1. I'm reminded of the old gentleman who was a regular at Eucharistic Adoration. One day the priest asked him what he did during adoration. The old man replied, "I look at Him and He looks at me and we are happy together"

  2. Anonymous;
    the priest in question was S. John Marie Vianney !