The Wonder of the Ordinary

12.12.2021 An excerpt from Laurence Freeman OSB, ASPECTS OF LOVE: On Retreat with Laurence Freeman (London: Medio Media, 1997), p. 54.
Mother and child in the countryside

We can learn to see reality. Just seeing it and living with it is healing. It brings us to a new kind of spontaneity, the spontaneity of a child who appreciates the freshness of life, the directness of experience. We must recover this spontaneity to enter the kingdom. It is the spontaneity of true morality, of doing the right thing naturally, not living our lives by rule books but by living our lives by the only morality, the morality of love. The experience of love gives us a renewed capacity to live our lives with less effort. It becomes less of a struggle, less competitive, less acquisitive, as it opens up for us what we have all glimpsed in some way at some time through love: that our essential nature is joyful. Deep down we are joyful beings. If we can learn to savour the gifts of life and see what life truly is, we will be better equipped to live with and through its tribulations, sorrows and suffering. This is what we learn gently, slowly, day by day, as we meditate. Mediation brings us to understand the wonder of the ordinary. We become less addicted to seeking extraordinary types of stimulation or distraction. We begin to find in the very ordinary things of daily life that this background radiation of love, the all-present power of God, is everywhere and at all times.

After meditation: “A Rabbit Noticed My Condition” St John of the Cross, tr by Daniel Ladinsky in LOVE POEMS FROM GOD: Twelve Sacred Voices from East and West (New York: Penguin Compass, 2002), p. 323.


I was sad one day and went for a walk;

I sat in a field.


A rabbit noticed my condition and

came near.


It often does not take more than that to help at times—


to just be close to creatures who

are so full of knowing,

so full of love

that they don’t



they just gaze with


marvelous understanding.

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