Clone of Online Meditation Readings

1) READING

An excerpt from Laurence Freeman OSB, “Dearest Friends,” The WCCM International Newsletter, Winter, 1996.
 
One of the perplexing dilemmas for Christianity today is how to communicate the gospel in a non-competitive way in the context of other faiths. . . .For the exclusivist Christian, of course, this is nonsensical. But perhaps. . . .the Spirit is trying to teach us something. Perhaps Christianity is learning that if it is truly universal it must find and recognize itself in all forms of human spiritual experience and in every kind of spiritual event. [. . . .]
 
We are today in need of a new way of religious dialogue, of tolerance, mutual reverence and way of learning from each other that those before us could never have imagined. Yet the rightness of such a way for us is attested by the fact that it is so compatible with the personality and example of Jesus. He rejected no-one, tolerated all and saw the mystery of God in all people and in nature. He ate with those he should have despised; he spoke with those he should have avoided. He was as open to others as he was to God.
 
In Jesus, time and eternity intersect. . . and the intersection happens in human poverty of spirit. . . Poverty is not only the absence of things but the awareness of our need for others, for God. Human neediness is universal. The richest and the most powerful, like the poorest and most marginalized, are all equally in need. Need is simply the strong feeling that arises in response to the fact of our interdependence. We are not separate from each other or from God. Wisdom is the recognition of that fact, and compassion is the practice of it.
 
In meditation, we dive to a level of reality deeper than that of our surface, ego-driven minds where so often we are caught in the net of illusion of our independence and isolation. Untangling from that net is the daily work of meditation and it is the new pattern of the practice of the presence of God--- in ordinary life, in all nature and in all people.
 
 
2) OPENING PRAYER AND MEDITATION
 
"Heavenly Father, open our hearts to the silent presence of the spirit of your Son. Lead us into that mysterious silence where your love is revealed to all who call, 'Maranatha…Come, Lord Jesus'."
 
3) MEDITATION
 
4) READING AFTER MEDITATION
 
After meditation: an excerpt from the Shvetashvatara Upanishad in THE UPANISHADS, tr. Eknath Easwaran (Tomales, CA: Nilgiri Press, 1995), p. 225.
 
May the Lord of Love, who projects himself
Into this universe of myriad forms,
From whom all beings come and to whom all
Return, grant us the grace of wisdom.
 
He is fire and the sun, and the moon
And the stars. He is the air and the sea,
And the Creator, Prajapati.
He is this boy, he is that girl, he is
This man, he is that woman, and he is
This old man, too, tottering on his staff.
His face is everywhere.
 
He is the blue bird, he is the green bird
With red eyes; he is the thundercloud,
And he is the seasons and the seas.
He has no beginning, he has no end.
He is the source from which all evolves.
 
From his divine power comes forth all this
Show of name and form, of you
And me, which casts the spell of pain and pleasure.
Only when we pierce through the veil
Do we see the One who appears as many.
 
5) SHARING, COMMENTS
 
6) FINAL PRAYER
 
"May this group be a true spiritual home for the seeker, a friend for the lonely, a guide for the confused. May those who pray here be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to serve all who come, and to receive them as Christ Himself. In the silence of this room may all the suffering, violence, and confusion of the world encounter the Power that will console, renew and uplift the human spirit.
 
May this silence be a power to open the hearts of men and women to the vision of God, and so to each other, in love and peace, justice and human dignity. May the beauty of the divine life, fill this group and the hearts of all who pray here, with joyful hope. May all who come here weighed down by the problems of humanity leave giving thanks for the wonder of human life. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. AMEN."