Chapter 20 » 20.09

The source of our strength

Over the years many Friends have told me that they no longer need regular daily prayer. I don’t want to suggest that I am a better man or that there is only one way but simply that this has not been my experience. I am not emotionally strong, and the expected, and even more the unexpected, needs of patients, students, colleagues, family, friends and strangers leave me empty and exhausted. I could not face the next day without a time in which life is renewed. I shall not describe this in detail. The essence is regularity and time – time to reach down to the level where I can begin to see myself and my work straight, where that strength we call love can break through my anxiety and teach me how to respond instead of react, where I am not ruled by conscience but by Jesus the true man within; the level where I can accept my whole nature and forgive myself and others… Prayer alone can reopen the road to the spirit, blocked repeatedly by busyness, self-importance, self-indulgence, self-pity, depression or despair.

Donald Court, 1970

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