Watch and Pray
All that a disciple can do is to labour at his spiritual practice and at living the spiritual life. Every effort is rewarded, for the mind records all trends and tendencies. Every positive effort develops a positive habit in the mind and every indulgence in weakness makes an old habit firmer still. Besides, as all mystics have said, whatever steps a person takes toward God, the Lord takes ten or a hundred steps towards him.…
A disciple cannot really tell where he is on the mystic path, for there is no measuring scale by which spiritual progress can be gauged. Some souls may even be given mystical experiences because they are weak and need an inducement to generate faith, impetus and spiritual drive. Others may have great faith and conviction but also possess such curiosity that, if they were taken into the higher realms, they would want to explore so much that they would lose contact with the central current of the Word. They are therefore kept in darkness until their degree of purity is sufficient for them to be taken up beyond all potential distractions of the inner journey. Again, a Master knows that some of his disciples are humble enough to receive spiritual treasures, but he withholds inner experiences from others who would just waste what had been given through spiritual pride and a sense of superiority. Nor can outer conduct always be a sure guide to inner spirituality, for even old and seasoned disciples can still be prey to some very obvious human weakness owing to the strong mental impressions of such tendencies from past lives. Spiritual advancement does not always entirely preclude human weakness. For as long as a soul remains in this world, there will always be some degree of struggle.
Again, if somebody is in darkness, he cannot know how close he is to finding the inner light. …All that a disciple can do is to work sincerely and devotedly, keeping himself in readiness for the coming of the spiritual form of his Master and the start of the journey through the inner mansions. As Jesus said, using a short parable:
Take ye heed, watch and pray:
for ye know not when the time is.
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,
who left his house,
and gave authority to his servants,
and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not
when the master of the house cometh,
at even, or at midnight,
or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I shall say unto all, watch.
Bible, Mark 13:33-37
No disciple knows when his Master will come to meet him in meditation or when he will come for him at the time of death. Therefore, says Jesus, “watch and pray”. Stay awake spiritually – and at night, too, when the period required for sleep is over, stay awake in meditation. For a disciple can never know when the Master will shower his grace and show himself within.
The Gospel of Jesus