8.21.2022. An excerpt from Laurence Freeman in JESUS THE TEACHER WITHIN (New York: Continuum, 2000), p. 216.
The only moment we can meet God is now, the only place here. Meditation is the process of coming home to the here and now. But as soon as we sit to meditate, we discover how little of us is actually present. [ . . .] Feelings of guilt or discouragement at our degree of distraction are irrelevant. Accepting the fact of distraction is simply a stage in self-knowledge and self-acceptance: the very process that constitutes the spiritual path. In its early stages, we call it repentance, seeing and accepting ourselves as we are. This is by nature humbling. Meditation quickly brings us to humility. Again and again we return to the mantra, learning as we do the meaning of humility and fidelity. Like the prodigal son, we “come to our senses” not once but as many times as necessary. We turn around again and return home. We learn who really welcomes us back so humbly and so often and calls us to join the feast of life.
After meditation: “Did This Ever Happen to You” by Franz Wright in GOD’S SILENCE (New York: Knoph, 2006), p. 22.
A marble-colored cloud
engulfed the sun and stalled,
A skinny squirrel limped toward me
as I crossed the empty park
and froze, the last
or next to last
fall leaf fell but before it touched
the earth, with shocking clarity
I heard my mother’s voice
pronounce my name. And in an instant I passed
beyond sorrow and terror, and was carried up
into the imageless
I came from
and am. Nobody’s
stronger than forgiveness.