The Outback

This week while I was visiting central Australia, the local priest organised some time off for me. We drove out several kilometres outside of Alice Springs.We walked into a gorge where there was permanent water. The wild beauty was breathtaking.There were amazing hues of reds and a mixture of so many other colours.You could hear the silence broken by the occasional call of birds. The nights around inspired awe.Words from the poetry of Gerard Manly Hopkins SJ came to mind:‘The world is charged with the  grandeur of God.’A bird of prey hovered in the air above.We sat down and spent some time in prayer. We prayed the rosary as well as part of the Prayer Of The Church. It is of no wonder that so many have been attracted to the wilderness for prayer in the history of the church.Nature has so often been called God’s first revelation.Indeed without the distraction of phones (my phone was out of range) and so many other things, we get unencumbered and predisposed to being open to prayer .Of course, we can pray anywhere.However, the setting and environment can certainly be helpful.Prayer is about union with and openness to God. It is about uniting our will with the will of God.It also connects us with a deeper love and connection with each other.There is a time to pray alone and a time to pray with others. Healthy Prayer leads us to deeper communion with God  and with each other and connection with all creation .