prayer is fun?

John Tauler was a Dominican monk born in Strasburg around 1300.  He spoke often about prayer being a conversion experience of the interior ground of the soul to God.  He also described prayer as an activity through which all God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all relate to one another.  Prayer, Tauler taught, is therefore a reflection of God as one and three.  In one of his sermons, Tauler taught that in its most ultimate expression, prayer became for the believer a union of "work" and "enjoyment."  So, Tauler said, existing even in the most difficult exertion of prayer is the reality of joy.  And conversely, in the most jubilant moments of prayer exists  the reality of divine work.  Here are a quotes that interested me from one of Tauler’s messages simply titled as "Sermon 39":

Today one reads in this Sunday’s epistle that my lord St. Peter said: "Dearest ones, be of one spirit in prayer."  Children, here St. Peter touches on the most useful, enjoyable, and noble work.  It is the most productive, desirable work that one can do on this earth…

The person who has made all the objects of his work divine and heavenly, and turns his back completely on all temporal things- such a person’s work becomes divine.  That noble dear soul of our Lord Jesus Christ in its highest powers was directed unceasingly toward the Godhead as its object… When he was suffering on the cross and died, he had, in his highest powers, the same enjoyment that he now has.  Those who are following him most closely in being turned toward divine objects, where work and enjoyment become one, shall in the hereafter be most like him in the essential enjoyment eternally.

**These excepts are taken from a collection of John Tauler writings (Die Predigten Taulers) translated by Frank Tobin and gathered in Bernard McGinn’s The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism, (Modern Library: New York, 2006).

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