Readings for 25/3/2012

An excerpt from John Main OSB, “The Inner Christ, MOMENT OF CHRIST (New York: Continuum, 1998), p. 106.

The way of meditation is not a way of escape. Above all, it is not a way of illusion. We neither try to escape the real world of untidy ends and chaotic beginnings and nor do we try to construct an alternative reality of our own. What Jesus promises us is that if we do hold him in reverence in our heart, . . .then all the chaos and all the confusion of the world can have no ultimate power over us.

 The stresses, the strains, the challenges, all remain but they are powerless to defeat us when we have founded our lives on the rock who is Christ. This is the real task. This is the real challenge that each of us must face, to enter into the reality that is Christ, the rock on whom we can build our lives with the absolute assurance that he will love us through all our mistakes, through all our changes of heart and mind and through every moment of our lives until the last moment of our life, because he is supreme love.

That is why St. Peter tells us of the importance of hold Jesus in reverence in our hearts. Rooted in him we are rooted in the principle of all life, in reality itself and, founded in him, nothing else has ultimate power over us, not even death itself. The challenge is to find our way to him by finding the way to our own heart so that we can hold him in reverence there. The way of meditation is consequently a way of learning to die to illusion, to all unreality, and so it is the way of learning to rise with Christ, to rise beyond ourselves and our limitations to eternal life.

After meditation: “In the heat of late afternoon..." by Gary Young, from Even So: New & Selected Poems. © White Pine Press, 2012. Cited in The Writers Almanac, 3.22.2012

In the heat of late afternoon, lightning streaks from a nearly cloudless sky to the top of the far mesa. At dusk, the whole south end of the valley blazes as the clouds turn incandescent with some distant strike. There is a constant congress here between the earth and the sky. This afternoon a thunderstorm crossed the valley.

One moment the ground was dry, and the next there were torrents running down the hillsides and arroyos. A quarter-mile off I could see a downpour bouncing off the sage and the fine clay soil. I could see the rain approach, and then it hit, drenching me, and moved on. Ten minutes later I was dry. The rain comes from heaven, and we are cleansed by it.

Suddenly the meaning of baptism is clear to me: you can begin again, and we are saved every day.

Carla Cooper -