Weekly Readings Newsletter

May 29 Readings

WCCM LogoFrom John Main OSB, “The Christian Crisis,” THE PRESENT CHRIST (New York: Crossroad, 1991), pp. 74-76.

[. . .]To become spiritual we have to learn to leave behind our official religious selves—that is, to leave behind the Pharisee that lurks inside all of us—because, as Jesus has told us, we have to leave behind our whole self. All images of ourselves coming as they do out of the fevered brain of the ego, have to be renounced and transcended if we are to become one with ourselves, with God, with our brethren—that is, to become truly human, truly real, truly humble.

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May 22 Readings

WCCM LogoAn excerpt from Laurence Freeman OSB, “Dearest Friends,” The World Community for Christian Meditation International Newsletter, Winter 2000.

As many Christians today find their leaders regressing into a rigid sectarianism, they are learning to find in their ancient contemplative wisdom a truer expression of the teachings of Jesus.; It is not those who mouth “Lord, Lord: who “please the Father,” but those who “do the Father’s will.” 

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May 15 Readings

John Main OSBFrom John Main OSB, "Growing in God," THE WAY OF UNKNOWING (NY: Crossroad, 1990), pp. 79-81.

What is the difference between reality and unreality? One way we can understand it is to see unreality as the product of desire. One thing we learn in meditation is to abandon desire, and we learn it because we know that our invitation is to live wholly in the present moment. Reality demands stillness and silence. And that is the commitment that we make in meditating. 

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May 8 Readings

John MainAn excerpt from John Main OSB, “Space to Be,” MOMENT OF CHRIST (New York: Continuum, 1998), pp. 92-93.

To know ourselves, to understand ourselves and to . . .get ourselves and our problems in perspective, we simply must make contact with our spirit. All self-understanding arises from understanding ourselves as spiritual beings, and it is only contact with the universal Holy Spirit that can give us the depth and the breadth to understand. . .The way to this is not difficult. It is very simple. But it does require serious commitment. . .

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May 1 Readings

WCCM LogoAs excerpt from Laurence Freeman OSB, “The Labyrinth,” JESUS THE TEACHER WITHIN (New York: Continuum, 2000), pp. 230-31.

Are we prepared to practice detachment from what we instinctively know is our most precious possession: our separate identity? Relationship with [Jesus] the teacher at this point is of supreme importance. It allows us to risk our own death. By now the discipline of the mantra has led to the fortifying sense of discipleship which empowers us to let ourselves go. We can leave self behind precisely because we are in union and are never alone. The words of Jesus become true in our own experience:

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April 24 Readings

WCCM LogoFrom Fr Laurence Freeman, OSB: "How Long?" from Light Within: The Inner Path of Meditation, New York: Continuum, 2000, pp. 22-23.

Why is the question, "How long will it take?" so important and how can it be so discouraging? Partly because it is such an unclear question. It is a question that we need to ask, but after all what does it mean? How long will what take? What is it that meditation is trying to make happen? What is the goal? What is the destination? Meditation will certainly lead us into an ever-deeper encounter with our own reality, and because of that it will give our life a more stable dimension of peace, liberty of spirit and joyfulness of heart. 

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April 17 Readings

WCCM LogoAn excerpt from John Main, “Kissing the Joy as it Flies,” in THE HEART OF CREATION (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2007), pp. 74-75.

Meditation is concerned with detachment. And as in our Western religious vocabulary there is no word more misunderstood than detachment, meditation can often present unnecessary problems or complications for people. It seems to us, generally, that detachment means a frosty sort of platonic indifference and it was this that put most of us off the idea when we came across the word in many spiritual books of the past which talked of Christian life from a largely negative or repressive view of detachment. 

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April 10 Readings

WCCM LogoAn excerpt from John Main OSB, “From Isolation to Love,” THE WAY OF UNKNOWING (New York: Crossroad, 1990), pp. 44-46.

We meditate because we know with absolute certainty that we must pass through and beyond our own sterility. We must transcend the sterility of the closed system, of a purely introspective mind. We know, with an ever greater clarity, that we have to pass beyond isolation into love. It is curious that introspection, the mind turned in upon itself, should lead to such sterility. Why should a self-centered consciousness be so sterile? Suppose for example we try to analyze some experience of our own. The almost inevitable consequence is that we end up observing ourselves in the act of observation. 

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April 3 Readings

WCCM LogoAn excerpt from John Main, OSB, “Focus on the Real,” in THE HEART OF CREATION (Norwich: Canterbury, 2007), pp. 83-84.

One of the things that we must clearly understand is that meditation, this pursuit of wisdom and love, must take place in an entirely ordinary, natural way. Meditation must be built into the ordinary fabric of everyday life. We must learn to see the whole of life shot through with the divine, in harmony with the divine. We must understand that it is our destiny to enter this divine harmony, to be in harmony with God. It is not a question of trying to fit a bit of spirituality into our lives. 

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March 27 Readings

WCCM LogoAn excerpt from John Main OSB, “Space to Be,” MOMENT OF CHRIST (New York: Continuum, 1998), pp. 92-93.

To know ourselves, to understand ourselves and to . . .get ourselves and our problems in perspective, we simply must make contact with our spirit. All self-understanding arises from understanding ourselves as spiritual beings, and it is only contact with the universal Holy Spirit that can give us the depth and the breadth to understand. . .The way to this is not difficult. It is very simple. But it does require serious commitment. . .

Read More
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