Spiritual teacher James Finley offers a unique way of praying through the suffering we experience in our lives. According to Finley, instead of brushing aside our suffering, which tends to increase it, we might bring our suffering to God in meditation to let the Creator touch it with Infinite Love.
Embracing our suffering, naming it, and letting God touch it with his love leads us to deeper wholeness, to the wisdom that’s on the other side of the pain. The reality of being perfectly human, we come to realize, is that by our wounds we are healed. Through our suffering, we are invited to experience deeper understanding and wisdom.
Self-doubt is one type of suffering we can bring to the Creator in quiet times of meditation. As we sit in silence, we might bring our insecurity to God. We might ask him to touch it with his love and wisdom saying, “God, I am filled with doubt about myself. I don’t know if I’m on the right track. I feel so anxious all the time. Help me move beyond this angst that seems to grip me so often.” Then as we bring our honesty to God, we can sit in the quiet listening for his reply. We might even hear the Creator silently remind us, “You are good. You are safe. I love you just the way you are.”
This process of connecting our suffering with God’s love is simple but profound. Here’s how it works.
As we sit in the quiet during times of meditation, we name the suffering we are experiencing—the loss of a job, the fear of facing life on our own, the anxiety caused by a violent and often chaotic world.
Then as we identify our suffering, we open our hearts to realize that the suffering we experience is one shared with many other people. The facts and circumstances might be different, but, the pain is universal, something we hold in common with others going through similar experiences.
After naming the pain, we give it to God. We ask him to touch it with his love, to dissolve the suffering as we sink deeper into Infinite Love.
We might ponder, “What would it be like if God lifted this suffering from me, from the world? What’s the wisdom beyond the pain that I am being invited to understand, to grasp, to live into?”
And then we wait in the Quiet.
Allowing our mind to sink into our heart and connect with the Source of Wisdom.
Toward the end of our practice, we can turn to God and ask him for the grace to keep connected with the thread of love we experienced. We might also ask him to spread his love to others who suffer, and to all creation.
Then we move into the active part of our day. As we encounter moments of pain and suffering, we remember the thread of love we connected with in the Quiet. We can then ask, “What would this situation look like if I embraced it with loving presence?”
This meditation practice connects us with our Authentic Self, with God, and allows us to use the suffering as a springboard toward deeper inner growth, leading us to wholeness, to a peace beyond understanding.
For an introduction to this practice, set aside ten minutes in your day for solitude, time to enter into the Quiet. Click on the link below and embrace, with Infinite Love, whatever it is you are currently suffering
—brian j plachta