“O Lord, you have enticed me, and I was enticed…..” (Jeremiah 20:7 NRSV).
Out of curiosity, I looked up the word “enticed”. The synonyms for enticed are allure, attract, lure, tempt.
The Contemplative has been on a journey that began when she/he discovered an enticement within them. Something was empty and hungry. As the contemplative opens oneself to the presence of God, one discovers the mystery that one has been enticed by the Holy Spirit. The lure within the contemplative was there by God’s initiative. It allures the contemplative into something much deeper than austere practices and the practice of religion by itself. The practice of religion certainly helps, but, it is something on the surface that can only do so much. We know that when we are hungry there is something about the aroma of bread being baked that seems to make our mouths water and warms our soul. This is poor example, but close enough to what the contemplative experiences as God entices us in our hearts.
“The contemplation of God is arrived at in numerous ways” (The Conferences of St. John Cassian. Conference One: On the Goal of the Monk).
God has many ways of attracting our attention. Through our moments in solitude, walks or jogs along the beach and in the ordinariness of life; God is there, enticing us in ways that “what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9). All we have to do is take one small foot step in faith with a little trust in the Holy Spirit; and God will do the rest.
“First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to him most earnestly to bring it to perfection” (RB 1980: The Rule of Saint Benedict in English. Prologue vs 4. p.15).
How is God enticing you?
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB