You Could Wake Up

10.23.2022. An excerpt from John Main OSB from “Liberty of Spirit” in THE HUNGER FOR DEPTH AND MEANING, ed. Peter Ng (Singapore: Medio Media, 2007), p. 131.

Meditation is the way to liberty. It is the way to your own heart. It is the way to the depth of your own being, where you can simply be—not justify yourself, not apologize for yourself, but simply rejoice in the gift of your own being. [ . . . .] [A]ll of us know deep down that we have this call to liberty, that we have this capacity for liberty. All of us know that we cannot live our lives to the full if we are always trapped in trivia, if we are always absorbed in things . . . . Now when we think of liberty, we tend to think of the freedom to do what we want. Certainly, this is an element in all living. But the Liberty of Spirit of which the New Testament speaks is not just the freedom to do. It is above all the freedom, the liberty, to be—to be who we are. [. . . .] What we are invited to discover in our lives—and each one of us must make sure that we do not just let our lives slip through our hands— is the unique gift of our own creation, and the potential that we all have to enter into harmony with the One, with all. 

After meditation: “From Out of the Cave” by Joyce Sutphen in STRAIGHT OUT OF VIEW (Boston: Beacon Press, 1995), noted in The Writer’s Almanac 10.18.2011.

From Out of the Cave

When you have been
at war with yourself
for so many years that
you have forgotten why,
when you have been driving
for hours and only
gradually begin to realize
that you have lost the way,
when you have cut
hastily into the fabric,
when you have signed
papers in distraction,
when it has been centuries
since you watched the sun set
or the rain fall, and the clouds,
drifting overhead, pass as flat
as anything on a postcard;
when, in the midst of these
everyday nightmares, you
understand that you could
wake up,
you could turn
and go back
to the last thing you
remember doing
with your whole heart:
that passionate kiss,
the brilliant drop of love
rolling along the tongue of a green leaf,
then you wake,
you stumble from your cave,
blinking in the sun,
naming every shadow
as it slips.

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