6.27.2021. An excerpt from Laurence Freeman OSB, “Loving Earthly Beauty” in COMMON GROUND (New York: Continuum, 1999), p. 130.
Whatever time and resources are devoted to our spiritual life can only avoid the accusation of selfishness if they serve to bring us closer to the heart of the suffering world. Unless the peace and harmony we find through our spiritual life also give birth to a compassionate union with the suffering of others, it can claim neither reality nor depth. The unselfish fruit of meditation is simply love. So if there is a goal to our meditation, it is not our own fulfilment. How better to express it than to say that it enables us to find happiness, not by selfishly seeking it but by relieving the suffering of others.
After meditation: “Biscuit” by Jane Kenyon in CONSTANCE (St. Paul: Graywolf Press, 1993), p. 15.
The dog has cleaned his bowl
and his reward is a biscuit,
which I put in his mouth
like a priest offering the host.
I can’t bear that trusting face!
He asks for bread, expects
bread, and I in my power
might have given him a stone.