Of course, we know Hamlet tells this to his good friend, Horatio, just before the infamous and deadly "play" duel between Hamlet and Laertes.
This phrase, "the readiness is all" was one of those popular sayings going around campus when I was in college. I am sure all you can remember fads from plays, movies, or songs which included quotations. That we knew Shakespeare and knew the context of the line, which includes a reference to the Scriptures, indicates a better day, when college students studied Hamlet and, most likely, watched the play, in high school.
We got the drift....one does not know the time of death, or suffering, or change, but being ready is all that matters.
Raissa Maritain writes something similar in her diary. The attitude and openness to grace is what matters when approaching God in prayer. God gives His graces in abundance, but not in the same way, to each human. What is key for us is the preparation, the generosity of spirit needed to meet God in prayer.
Training the mind and heart to be quiet constitutes part of the readiness. Responding quickly to grace forms part of the readiness. Allowing God to purify the heart, mind, soul, imagination and will means that one must be made ready for God's graces of illumination and unity.
Raissa learned from her spiritual director to pay attention, to be ready for God. If one is too busy, too noisy, too distracted, one cannot get ready.
How long we may spend on our outward appearances, getting ready for a date or a dinner. How long do we spend getting ready for God's approaches to us?
One must not get ready by expecting "experiences". On the contrary, in the Dark Night, one walks totally by faith, in the mists, waiting and being made ready. Waiting for an experience interferes with what God might want to do.
The readiness is all, and when we are made ready by grace, God will respond, as He has prepared us for Himself.
to be continued....