J. S. Bach spent his life in musical service to God. He wrote his music as an act of worship, and his faith and music are unified. Often he wrote on his manuscripts “Soli Deo Gloria”, to God alone be the glory. There is always a sense of direction in Bach’s music. Even when it wanders, there is always a place of return and resolution. Home.
When I practice centering prayer I choose a word that helps me focus on God. When my mind wanders I gently return to this word to refocus. When my life wanders in various directions I know God is always there to receive my return with love, compassion and welcoming arms.
For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. I have tried hard to follow the guidelines of the spiritual life—pray always, work for others, read the Scriptures—and to avoid the many temptations to dissipate myself. I have failed many times but always tried again, even when I was close to despair.
Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized that during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me. The question is not “How am I to find God?” but “How am I to let myself be found by him?” The question is not “How am I to know God?” but “How am I to let myself be known by God?” And, finally, the question is not “How am I to love God?” but “How am I to let myself be loved by God?” God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me, and longing to bring me home. ~Henri Nouwen