Metanoia is the contemplative journey


Metanoia is the victorious surrender of the mind, letting go of the ego-mind’s double-act by removing attention from thoughts, including thoughts about ourselves. This is the mystical tradition of the church, truer to the gospel than mere theological orthodoxy or enforced morality. Theology is most powerful when it recognises its own limits. Metanoia is the contemplative journey. It allows us to interiorise the words of Jesus which we cannot do when the mind remains caught in second-hand opinions and boundaries. For example, ‘the Kingdom of heaven is within you’, is an essential saying of Jesus: it is the experiential insight created in metanoia that our deepest centre is with and in God. Finding this point of origin allows us to know directly, as God knows, and to know ourselves by knowing that we are known (and loved) by God. Metanoia also leads into another mystery of ourselves described by mystics as early as St Paul: we are known by God in eternity before we exist in the flesh: ‘chosen by God… before the foundation of the world’, echoing the prophet Jeremiah ‘before I formed you in the womb, I knew you’.

 ( WCCM Newsletter, February 2023 by Laurence Freeman OSB )

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