Online Meditation Readings: 19 February

1) READING

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Lent Reflections 2015 by Laurence Freeman OSB
 
Luke 9:22-25: whoever will save his life will lose it
 
The English poet George Herbert has been called the poet of the inner weather. Being English he could talk about weather and was finely attuned to its lesser and greater variations.  “After so many deaths I live and write/I once more smell the dew and rain/And relish versing.” 
 
Our five senses and physical life are intricately woven into our spiritual seasons. When our spiritual life is clouded by negative states of mind or recurrent patterns that keep us self-absorbed our senses too lose their edge. We feel dull, depressed and unengaged with the world and all its relationships in which we live and breathe. But when we are spiritually awake our senses pick up the vitality of life and we can smell, see, touch, hear and taste – whether it is ravishing or disgusting at least we will sense it fully for what it is. The sensual part of our consciousness needs the spiritual and the spiritual needs the sensual. When they are balanced they merge and form a single, perfect language and we experience wholeness.
 
So, as Lent gets underway, consider the two practices I described yesterday in the light of what you are sensing. Don’t become too conceptual, too idealised about them. Each day you can evaluate how you have been doing but with detachment and humour rather than a judgemental attitude.

The morning and evening meditations calibrate all this in a way that is natural and spontaneous. It’s how you lose yourself wholly and this helps you find yourself in your wholeness. You don’t have to keep looking under the hood of the car to examine the engine. You will feel that the car (rather like the ego) is running properly and getting you where you are going.

 

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 from George Herbert, Virtue

Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright
The bridal of the earth and sky:
The dew shall weep thy fall tonight,
For thou must die.
 
Sweet rose, whose hue, angry and brave,
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eyes:
Thy root is ever in its grave,
And thou must die.
 
Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie:
My music shows ye have your closes,
And all must die.
 
Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
LIke seasoned timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal.
Then chiefly lives. 
 

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 meditation 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 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.