There are many ways invitations reach our souls, encouraging healing, growth, and creativity. Sometimes they arrive by means of a spiritual scavenger hunt. This process can unfold without my awareness at first. All I may have done is merely look up something about which I’m curious. Then, perhaps twenty minutes and several hyperlinks later, I find myself perched on an insight I didn’t even know I needed… a message offering deep nourishment. Maybe it’s an author who becomes my next guru, or a meaningful article that brings an important lesson — whatever the invitation, it is an oasis for my thirst. It’s as though my spirit knows the path to whatever transcendental support is called for at just the right moment.
Another way I’ve experienced my soul being invited to consider something is when a topic keeps popping up from various sources in my life. Each mention of the same subject becomes like a spoke of a wheel, all pointing to a center I’m being asked to ponder. Recently, for example, my Spiritual Director sent me a recorded talk by Franciscan Richard Rohr, which beautifully awoke something in me. Then, about a week later, a member of the dream group I participate in emailed me a video of “The Welcoming Prayer,” commonly attributed to the Trappist Monk, Thomas Keating. I planned to check it out, but put it on the back burner as I was busy at the time. Another week or so after that, a mentor of mine asked in conversation if I had ever worked with “The Welcoming Prayer.” It turns out that “The Welcoming Prayer” is more than just a lovely written piece; it is a practice developed years ago by a spiritual teacher named Mary Mrozowski. She based it on her experience as well as the teachings of both the Jesuit priest, Jean Pierre de Caussade, and Fr. Keating. This method of contemplation has been widely used and adapted by many over the years.
Well, I started to suspect that the repeated mention of “The Welcoming Prayer” and its practice might be beyond coincidence. I still hadn’t yet taken the time to explore further, however, when this week it all came full-circle. My eyes landed on an article from Fr. Rohr, offering his adaptation of practicing "The Welcoming Prayer.” Given my fondness for his teachings in general (recently reignited by my Spiritual Director’s sharing), this was the third and crystalizing push I needed. Okay, Universal Love, I get it. I’ll give it a try!
Here's the prayer:
THE WELCOMING PRAYER:
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me today
because I know it’s for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons,
situations, and conditions.
I let go of my desire for power and control.
I let go of my desire for affection, esteem,
approval and pleasure.
I let go of my desire for survival and security.
I let go of my desire to change any situation,
condition, person or myself.
I open to the love and presence of God and
God’s action within. Amen.
Note: To find Rohr's practice of this prayer, visit: https://cac.org/the-perennial-tradition-weekly-summary-2019-08-17/
I love how Spirit knows what we need for comfort, hope, renewal, and joy… and will keep knocking until we open the door.
How have invitations made their way to you? How might you answer these invitations today?
May you be inspired!