Weekly Readings Newsletter

October 24, 2010 Readings

LF0410125.jpgLaurence Freeman OSB, “Dearest Friends,” WCCM International Newsletter, December 2007.

In an age of stress and anxiety like ours the burden of time presses heavily upon us. Without meaning, the intolerable weight of time and, paradoxically, its fleeting disappearance become a crucifixion without a resurrection. The great increase in the incidence of mental illness in modern society could be attributed to this. Meditation transforms our mental construct of past and future by deepening the experience of the present moment—the core meaning of contemplation as the “simple enjoyment of the truth.”

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October 17, 2010 Readings

 

“Two Words From the Past"

John Main OSB, in THE HEART OF CREATION (New York: Continuum, 1998), pp. 42-44.

The early monastic Fathers soon discovered that one of the hurdles that every man and woman of prayer must surmount is what they described as acedia. Acedia is a fairly complex psychological concept, but it contains the notions of boredom, dryness, lack of satisfaction, a feeling of hopelessness, of not making progress. I think all of us are to some extent familiar with these manifestations of the ego.

 

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October 3, 2010 Readings

“Kissing the Joy as it Flies"

John Main OSB, THE HEART OF CREATION: Meditation: A Way of Setting God Free in the World (London: Canterbury, 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 [and the]largely negative or repressive view of [it].

Yet I feel that detachment is the most important lesson that meditation has to teach us today as men and women of the West. . . . Detachment is not dissociation from yourself or an evasion of your problems or responsibilities. It is not a denial of friendship or affection, of even of passion. Detachment is, in essence, detachment from self-preoccupation, from that often unconscious mind-set that puts myself at the center of creation.

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September 26, 2010 Readings

 

John Main  OSB

“Straying from the Mantra"

John Main OSB, "Straying from the Mantra," THE HEART OF CREATION (London: Canterbury, 2007), pp. 9-11.

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September 19, 2010 Readings

“The Christian Crisis"

John Main OSB, THE PRESENT CHRIST (New York: Crossroad, 1991), pp. 74-76.
The call to the modern person, the call to all of us, is to become spiritual, and 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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