Sounds Like Me

5 Aug

Because it is easier to read about prayer than to pray, I have shelves full of books: meditations on the Lord’s Prayer by a dozen different authors; scholarly accounts of prayer in the twelfth century, the eighteenth century; Hasidic wisdom on prayer; manuals for knitting a prayer rug, a prayer shawl, a prayer blanket, a prayer tree.  (I don’t, alas, know how to knit.)  Sometimes I think that all this reading gets in the way, that the books become excuses, something to do in lieu of praying.  Other days, I know that to read about prayer is at least to indulge my desire, to acknowledge that I want this thing, that I long for it, even if this afternoon the closest I can get is reading voyeurism, greedy spying on other people at prayer.

Lauren F. Winner, Still

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