I love the image of a beating heart as the symbol of life and love. The constant and rhythmic alternate contraction and relaxation of the heart muscles send life-giving blood coursing throughout the body. When someone says “My heart beats for you”, his heart beats in rhythm with that of the other person, signifying their oneness in love. So it is with everything else in the universe – from the rhythm of tension and relaxation to the constant pulse beat of up and down or close and open or darkness and light to the regular alternation of activity and rest – there is a constant beat and rhythm that tells me the universe is alive. We see the stars twinkling because, massive as they are, they are pulsating to their own rhythm. Quarks, the smallest particles known to men, can only be observed by the amplitude of the rhythmic waves they make. All of creation has a pulse that beats to a certain rhythm. And if one can hear all the beats and syncopation and the pulsation, one would have heard the universe singing its hymn to the Creator.
And so is my life beating to the tune of this Divine melody. I count my days by the rising and setting of the sun, my months by waxing and waning of the moon and my years by rhythmic passage of the seasons. I count my moments by the beatings of my heart. I mark the memories of my life by the alternation of joy and sorrow, the cycles of laughter and tears, hunger and fullness, tempests and calm.
I have come to learn that my prayer time is a vital part of this rhythm and pulse beat of my life. This is a lesson that Christ himself taught the apostles and the disciples. He would rise up early in the morning to pray. And he would regularly take his followers out to a deserted place where they could be alone and spend the time in quiet prayer. It is in prayer that I encounter the Divine Wisdom and catch a whisper, a strain of the hymn that the whole universe is singing.
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Mark 6:30-34