Searching and Finding in The Desert

“The dialectic of searching and finding has a strange structure in the desert. The search has a surprising ending. I could not in all honesty say whether I have found what I was looking for. All I know is that I have been overtaken. Overtaken by a Voice. Surrounded by a Presence. It is difficult to define what I have found. But I know for certain that I have been seized by Someone.

The immense spaces of the desert give you at first the feeling that you are free to go where you like. But you know intuitively that someone else is going to lead you by the hand.
Desert sand
The desert constitutes a most paradoxical challenge. You are given a vast territory with boundless possibilities of escape. Your courage is on trial. Are you courageous enough to be captured? Are you heroic enough to offer an unconditional surrender?

Prayer, it seems to me, is an extraordinary gift of space. No one has more space at his disposal than the man who prays. But that space does not help him to flee: it makes all flight impossible. And the man of prayer knows that he has been rendered incapable of fleeing. Which, you will agree, is the happiest solution. For we never enjoy greater freedom than when we are seized by God.

Not to have an escape route. This is the quintessence of the risk we take when we pray. And how beautiful it is to fall into the hands of the living God.”

~ from Meditations on the Sand by Alessandro Pronzato, Chapter 32 – Courage to Surrender
Meditations on the Sand
“Meditations on the Sand” [Alba House, 1983] by Alessandro Pronzato, Italian Roman Catholic Priest, journalist, writer and professor.


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