Online Meditation Readings: 22 and 23 January

1) READING

 

Resistance through unmet needs

We also need to be aware of the way our ‘ego’ will try to deter us from the silence of meditation by playing the old emotional ‘unmet need’ tapes with their flawed self-images. If our ‘love’ need was not met or we have only experienced conditional love - love as a reward for good behaviour –, it may be hard for us to imagine that God, which is Unconditional Love, is also there for us. The ‘ego’ taunts us with: You know you are unlovable! You are not good enough! This is for other people, not you! Meditation is based on a loving relationship of faith and trust with the Divine. 

Our sense of unworthiness might make entering into that relationship initially very If our ‘security’ need has not been met, this may well lead to an urge to control the meditation experience. We fear being out of control - control equals security – therefore the ‘ego’ plays on this particular weakness: Are you sure this is a good idea? You won’t be in control! Are you not frightened? The ‘letting go’ that meditation requires may therefore be at first incredibly threatening and can cause a sense of panic. To accept that we are safe in the loving embrace of the Divine takes quite a quantum leap of faith.

If a need for ‘esteem’ is our driving force, which makes us put excessive emphasis on status and reputation, then to consider doing something ‘unorthodox’, even ‘counter-cultural’, such as meditation, may not fit the real need to be accepted and If we did not feel valued, as the pattern of our early life was marked by being ignored and our opinions were not asked for or never taken on board, then to trust in our own inner voice, our own conviction, is a real problem. 

The way forward is to remind ourselves that all these emotions are based on our conditioned attitudes formed in the past. Therefore we can learn to switch the tapes off and not listen to these outdated and false messages from the ‘ego’. Our mantra could be: ‘That was then, this is now!’

The longing to experience the reality beyond our surface self does not therefore come from the ‘ego’; it is the deeper unconscious aspect of our consciousness, our ‘self’, that is the attracting force. The pull of the deeper ‘self’ makes us seek true meaning beyond the everyday reality of the ‘ego’: “Among all my patients in the second half of life, that is to say, over 35, there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life.” (C.G. Jung - ‘Modern Man in search of a Soul’) Jung dealt with people when their problems had already developed into neuroses, yet his statement holds true for all of us. Considering that it takes time for neuroses to become so crippling that treatment needs to be sought, this awareness of a lack of spiritual values is much more widespread than we might assume. Jung talked about ‘a religious outlook’ because of the time he lived in, but what we now encounter is rather a spiritual hunger, which is our response love of the Divine Reality that unconsciously attracts and motivates us.
 
Kim Nataraja
 
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, an excerpt from Pseudo-Macarius, "Homily I," AN ANTHOLOGY OF CHRISTIAN MYSTICISM , ed. Harvey Egan (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1996), pp. 83-84.

For the soul that is privileged to be in communion with the Spirit . . .becomes all light, all face, all eye, and there is no part of her that is not full of the spiritual eyes of light. . . .As fire, the very light of fire, is alike all over, having in it no first or last, or greater or less, so also the soul that is perfectly irradiated by the unspeakable beauty of the light of Christ, . . .becomes all eye, all light, all face, all glory, all spirit, being made so by Christ, who drives and guides and carries and bears her, and graces her thus with spiritual beauty.

 

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.