Everything You Dread Dissolves

3.26.2023. An excerpt from John Main OSB, “The Way of Love” in The Hunger for Depth and Meaning, ed. Peter Ng (Singapore: MedioMedia, 2007), p. 184.

The great mystery of faith is that love is to be found in our own hearts, if only we can be silent and still, if we can make this love the supreme center of our being. That means turning to it wholeheartedly, paying attention to it. You approach your life with love because what you encounter in your own heart is the living principle of love. Listen to St. Paul suggest how we should be in our relationships with one another:

Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other, as the Lord forgives you. . . Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Col 3:13-15)

The most important thing we have to proclaim to the world, to proclaim to everybody, is that the Spirit does indeed dwell in our hearts. By turning to it with full attention, we too can live out of the fullness of love. We too can live out of the power that is the Kingdom of God. Part of the discipline of meditation is that it teaches us to stay in that love, come what may.

After meditation: “Any Common Desolation” by Ellen Bass published in Poem-a-Day by The American Academy of Poets, November 18, 2016.

Any Common Desolation

can be enough to make you look up
at the yellowed leaves of the apple tree, the few
that survived the rains and frost, shot
with late afternoon sun. They glow a deep
orange-gold against a blue so sheer, a single bird
would rip it like silk. You may have to break
your heart, but it isn’t nothing
to know even one moment alive. The sound
of an oar in an oarlock or a ruminant
animal tearing grass. The smell of grated ginger.
The ruby neon of the liquor store sign.
Warm socks. You remember your mother,
her precision a ceremony, as she gathered
the white cotton, slipped it over your toes,
drew up the heel, turned the cuff. A breath
can uncoil as you walk across your own muddy yard,
the big dipper pouring night down over you, and everything
you dread, all you can’t bear, dissolves
and, like a needle slipped into your vein—
that sudden rush of the world.

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