Let’s talk about our Father in Heaven. Where is heaven? Is it a place or a state or just anywhere God resides? I, of course, have no definitive answer, but given that at baptism we become a temple of God, and the Jews believed that the temple was the residence of God, then, I think that it is safe to say that Heaven resides within me, within you. You might be saying, but it its he Holy Spirit that resides within, that is true, but also not true. We cannot separate one person of the Trinity from the others, so where one goes, all are present.
If Heaven is within us, then that means that the Kingdom of God lies within. Jesus said, his kingdom is not of this world. Jn 18:36. No, it is an invisible kingdom that is working to make itself visible within the Body of Christ. God the Father wants to draw you further and further into this invisible kingdom so that you can be a visible member of the Kingdom within the visible world.
You might be thinking that you already do this, and I have no doubt that you do. The thing is, God is beyond our understanding, and thus, there is always more to learn about being his representative in this world. The wisdom for the more is within the interior kingdom. God is calling you to a deeper form of prayer, which leads to spiritual wisdom. It leads to wisdom greater than Solomon because it is Holy Spirit infused.
By a deeper form of prayer, I am talking about mental prayer. The process goes like this. Beginners start with verbal prayer, and verbal prayers are the prayer of even the most advanced. Still, this is a monologue with God. Mental prayer is the second step where we start dialogue with God. Mental prayer is a process of meditating on things of God, and then taking them to Heaven within, taking them to silence. It is in this two step process that we find the dialogue.
In the silence God will shape and mold what you take to him into something new and more profound. He will knock out anything of the exterior world and will fill it with something more. From mental prayer, the mystics tell us that we are taken to a place where God monologues with us. That place is called contemplation for it is in this monologue that we are really able to sit in the throne room of God and ponder the all-powerful and all-mighty God.
Spend some time today pondering the words of the Our Father. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you something more about the first person of the Trinity and the indwelling presence of a fully triune God. Ask him to guide you into this deeper form of prayer. If you already pray this way, then ask him to show you something of the vast wisdom that will enhance your existing process. Spend 10-20 minutes in silence. The experts say 20 minutes once to twice a day is ideal. It is ok to use a mantra, like Abba, Jesus, love, … any word or phrase that raises your heart and mind to God. I have come to believe that only the Holy Spirit can take me to silence. It is my job to try and get from head (thoughts) to heart, and to let him do the rest. The mantra helps one get out of the thoughts and into the silence. May God use your efforts to guide you to a deeper trust in the Father who wants to reveal the secrets of the universe to you.
Ms. Debra D. Weldon
For more on learning to pray in silence, I highly recommend anything by Fr. Thomas Keating, and in particular, Open Mind, Open Heart (only because it is the one I have read most recently).