Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me chastely to flee it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Thine alone. Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee. Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may be a tilled field, the roots of grace spreading far and wide, until Thou alone art seen in me, Thy beauty golden like summer harvest, Thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty. I have no master but Thee, no law but Thy will, no delight but Thyself, no wealth but that Thou givest, no good but that Thou blessest, no peace but that Thou bestowest. I am nothing but that Thou makest me. I have nothing but that I receive from Thee. I can be nothing but that grace adorns me. Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to overflowing with living water.
Anonymous. Puritan Prayers (Kindle Locations 128-132). Kindle Edition.
This process can be brutal, but it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise the “I” that I am cannot separate from its identification with its own thoughts and feelings. Most people become their thoughts. They do not have thoughts and feelings; the thoughts and feelings have them. It is what the ancients called “being possessed” by a demon. So we start with wiping the mirror until we can see what is objectively there. But let’s go further than that: wiping the mirror until even the eye that is watching the mirror is not taken too seriously. The watcher can become self-preoccupied, which only distorts things further. So we have to observe, but also not let the observer become an accusing tyrant. If we get past that temptation, we no longer ask questions about whether we’re doing it right. We stop pestering our soul with questions like “Am I pure?” “Am I holy?” “Am I good?” “Is my technique proper?” They all fall away. It starts with mirror-wiping. It starts with doing the discipline faithfully. When the veil parts and we see love, the self-conscious watcher, preoccupied with doing it right, just forgets the self (Mark 10:18). After worrying that I don’t know about myself, a lovely question then arises. Who cares? My watching and judging don’t change what is, but often become a concern with watching and judging itself. Prayer, however, is not finally self-observation but rather to “fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
Richard Rohr Everthing Belongs