“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
The presence of God is true security. There really isn’t any other. Divine love is the full affirmation of who we are. Interior freedom is the gift of God as we let go of our attachments and aversions, our “shoulds,” and the emotional programs of happiness that we bring with us from early childhood and that are totally impracticable in adult life.
Through a spiritual practice like Centering Prayer, we begin to experience spiritual awareness. Ordinary life then becomes like a lousy movie where we don’t identify with the characters or plot. We can get up and leave — something we can’t do in daily life when we over identify with our ordinary stream of awareness and its contents. That is the inner tyranny that opposes true freedom. The freedom of the children of God means we can decide what to do about particular events. We live more and more out of self-actuating motivation rather than the domination of our habitual drives to be esteemed, to be in control, to feel secure.
Centering Prayer and other practices that lead to Christian contemplation move us toward interior freedom. We open ourselves to God and allow ourselves to rest in a silent place beyond thinking, a kind of oasis in a day of emotional turmoil. Even from a purely human perspective, everybody needs some solitude and silence in daily life, just to be human and creative about the way one lives.
— Thomas Keating in The Human Condition
What if you believed that someone in your world longed to be with you? What if you knew that this someone looked upon you with awe, admiration and truly saw you as perfectly pleasing? …..just the way you are. What if I told you that this someone really exists; that it’s God, the creator of all that is, seen and unseen. The creator of you. Would you want to spend time with this someone? I think so. God truly, truly longs to spend time with you; without any distractions, without any one else in the room….God longs to spend time with you and no one else at that moment. Will you spend some time with the One who longs to be with you? I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you do. I know God won’t.
Love in Christ,
The writings of Fr. Thomas Keating are taken from Spirituality and Practice. The reflections are my own.
M.Rev. Ed Jansen is the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Benedict and Rev. Dr. Trish Gaffney is its Vicar General
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