MYSTICISM: The Degrees Of Prayer, by Evelyn Underhill

The Value of Sparrows

Printed for the Guild of Health, 1922

The subject of this paper is man’s fundamental spiritual activity – prayer.  Every religious mind is, of course, familiar with the idea of prayer; and in one degree or another, with the practice of it.  Yet we sometimes forget how very little we really know about it; how personal and subjective are the accounts spiritual writers give of it; how empirical and how obscure in its deepest moments, even for the best of us, our own understanding of it must be.  Here we are, little half-animal, half-spiritual creatures, mysteriously urged from within and enticed from without to communion with spiritual reality.  If and when we surrender to this craving and this attraction, we enter thereby – though at first but dimly – on a completely new life, full of variety, of new joy, tension and pain, and offering an infinite opportunity of development to us…

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