Paul writes ...”the Spirit comes to help us in our weakness, for, when we do not know how to pray properly, then the Spirit personally makes our petitions for us in sighs and groans that cannot be put into words; and God who can see into all hearts knows what the Spirit means because the prayers that the Spirit makes for God’s holy people are always in accordance with the mind of God.“ – Romans 8:26-27
Beyond the words … there lives an even greater truth and an even greater love.
Beyond the words … here at Greyfriars’ Abbey, we seek always to journey beyond the words. After the song is sung, we listen to the echoes, first from the walls of the chapel, then from the spaces within the soul, and then for the resonance of the music that come from the realms of heaven. After the Scripture is read, we listen for the harmonics that are within the words but at first are unheard, the deeper understanding that appear in the ripples and the reflections of those words upon the waters of the soul that are part of the river of God. After the work is done, we stroll through the afterglow of our labors, learning lessons of the Spirit from our remembrance of the moments. Beyond the words …
Beyond the words … where only are left the sighs and groans of our human souls do come and mingle with the wisdom of God which is wiser than the words could ever express. There … in the time of prayer when the words have been thought and spoken and no more do come to mind … there is still praying to done … in the realm beyond the words.
Sometimes as I listen to the voices of the Brothers and the Sisters as they blend their song with the music of the Spirit, I drift to a further understanding that I have yet to put to words … a conversation with God that is more a matter of the soul of God than of the mind of man. It is like those beautiful moments … when my love for my wife and her love for me reaches beyond the mere words we struggle to share … where we linger for a timeless while in the loving presence of one another. Such is the time of prayer that I spend with the Lord … that dwells beyond the words …. there in the sighs I share with God.
Brother Anthony of the Cross