Meditation Readings: 27 and 28/11/2014

READINGS - 27 and 28/11/2014

 
1) READING
 
An excerpt from John Main OSB, "The Unreality of Fear," THE HEART OF CREATION (New York: Continuum. 1998), pp. 24-25.
 
The difference between our state of mind when we are in love, compared with when we are in a state of fear or isolation, is something we all know. Love evokes a spirit of joy in life; it evokes its variety, its unexpectedness, its color. And the more generously we allow this spirit of love to expand within us, the more we become other-centered; the more we find our perfection in the other, our fulfillment in the other. It is in this experience that we let go of self-consciousness and discover our real consciousness. . . Out of this encounter comes the creative energy that enables us to work selflessly, lovingly.
 
As we read the gospel we see that a choice is set before us. The alternative is between love and fear. Fear is destructive and corrosive, whether it is the fear of disease, war or famine or whether it is fear of supernatural, angry vengeful gods who must be placated by compulsive rituals. The difference between a barbaric world and a civilized world is that barbarism thrives on fear. Civilization thrives on a love that gives birth to vigor, energy, vitality, creativity. Barbaric energy is negative; its main thrust is destructive and its principal art is war. The principal art of the Christian life is peace.
 
Our commitment to meditation is our openness to the peace of God's redemptive love, our total acceptance of it, our abandonment of self-fixation and our commitment to self-giving. While we are saying our mantra we cannot be thinking about ourselves, and it is precisely self-obsession that leads us . . .into fantasy. So when we find that we have stopped saying the mantra, that our mind is drifting, we must simply return to it and, with it, to reality, return, that is, to God present in our hearts. Or in other words, we return to a faith that propels us beyond ourselves into God. We all know that this self-transcendence is our salvation. Fundamentally, we all know that we must go to meet it in the silence of our hearts. The alternative. . .[is] illusion. 
 
The root function of fantasy is that it attempts to turn us from the fears and anxieties we feel by creating an alternative reality. But what happens is that the fear is just buried deeper. . . . The root-function of the gospel, which is really the only root, is to expel fear, to pluck it out by the roots so that we can go deeper and deeper into a fearless heart and there encounter profoundest love. 
 
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) READING AFTER MEDITATION
 
After meditation:  From SAYING OF THE DESERT FATHERS, Sylvanus
 
"Abba Moses asked Abba Sylvanus, Can a man lay a new foundation every day? The Abba said, If he works hard, he can lay a new foundation at every moment. "
 
4) SHARING, COMMENTS
 
5) CLOSING PRAYER
 
By Laurence Freeman OSB
 
May this Community 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 retreat 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 Community 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.