We began the Holy Week retreat on Bere Island yesterday. Between the liturgies, the meditation times, the times of reflection and sharing on the elusive and unforgettable symbols of the Passion, we will try with all of you who have been reading these reflections to prepare for the three great days.
Each of these spiritual practices – meditation, liturgy, lectio – reinforces the others. Like a dance they swirl together without competing or clashing, like the divine communion itself.
The deeper we go with their help the more we realise our wholeness. We become less divided and conflicted within ourselves and so between ourselves and others. The journey deeper is a healing of everything in our lives that has pained or damaged us, holding us back from the fullness of being we are designed for.
But the focus is Jesus not ourselves. If we focus on ourselves the imminent danger is that we get stuck in self-centredness (often without knowing it). But to be focused on him is to elude the trap of egotism and fall into the great freedom of the true self where we are one with him; and then we fall into the even greater freedom of the divine communion in which all that is human is divinised.
The focus on Jesus shows us that it is not through a series of triumphs and gains that we do this but by defeats and dispossessions. It is not the way the ego likes to go but it is the secret path direct to the Kingdom.
Laurence Freeman OSB