Steve’s 1 August Diary Entry: On Prayer and Touch

36While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.

(NT reading from Eveing Prayer tonight.)

After the Resurrection, Jesus shows himself to his friends and exhorts them to examine his hands and his feet—his scarred, wounded flesh. He asks them for food. Touch and taste are real modes of divine love.

It occurred to me that clasping one’s hands in prayer has been criticised as short-circuiting the openness to divine communication embodied in raising the hands. But clasping the hands does something else. It makes touch the starting point of openness to divine otherness.

Before EP I was praying silently. It came to me that God as no-thing glorifies things: they are given radiance as otherness even as they flow from God as no-thing and are related to Him as gift.

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