Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
"No man is an iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee...."
These words were written in the year of 1624 by John Donne. Fascinating man, please read about him here. Most people know him as a famous English poet but I think of him not only as a wonderful writer but as a man of God and a great preacher. "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind..." These words came to me recently when I was thinking of those who had died in the storm in New York and New Jersey and of all of those who are suffering. Thinking of them, it occurred to me we all should pray for them. John Donne also had some thoughts on prayer. See if you can't recognize the truth of them for yourself...
"When we consider with a religious seriousnesse the manifold weaknesses of the strongest devotion in time of prayer, it is a sad consideration. I throw my selfe downe in my chamber, and I call in and invite God, and his Angels thither and when they are there, I neglect God and his Angels, for the noise of a flie, for the rattling of a coach, for the whining of a doore.
I talke on, in the same posture of praying; eyes lifted up, knees bowed down, as though I prayed to God; and, if God or his Angels should aske me, when I thought last of God in that prayer, I cannot tell: Sometimes I find that I had forgot what I was about, but when I began to forget it , I cannot tell.
A memory of yesterday's pleasures, a feare of tomorrows dangers, a straw under my knee, a noise in mine eare, a light in mine eye, an anything, a nothing, a chimera in my braine, troubles me in my prayer. So certainly, is there nothing, nothing in spiritual things, perfect in this world."