The value of prayer inspiring action
Sir, The value in having monastic Christians offering regular prayer, from the hermits of the Egyptian desert to more modern contemplative orders like CSWG at Crawley Down, is not to be discounted, as your Spiritual Director, the Rev Dr Liz Hoare, seems to suggest in her statement: “Prayer without action turns us inward and quickly becomes sterile.”
Actually, prayer is action: it is an act of faith, since the effects of our prayer are not always visible to us. God has always called men and women to a life of prayer and prayer only; it is not for everyone, but for those who have followed this path the rewards can be great, for them and for us.
As Thomas Merton writes: “We do not go into the desert to escape people but to learn how to find them; we do not leave them in order to have nothing more to do with them, but to find out the way to do them the most good. But this is only a secondary end. The one end that includes all others is the love of God.”
The Rev David Beresford,