Weekly Readings Newsletter

READINGS FOR 6/5/2012

An excerpt from “Dearest Friends: A Letter from Laurence Freeman OSB,” Christian Meditation Newsletter, Vol. 33, No. 1, April 2009.

“The distinction between the office and person,” said Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “is wholly alien to the teaching of Jesus.” In the end, the truth is personal and it can only enter the world when it has conquered the human heart.

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Readings for 29/4/2012

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

. . . .[T]o 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.

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Readings for 22/4/2012

From Laurence Freeman OSB, “The Power of Attention,” THE SELFLESS SELF (London: DLT, 1989), pp. 31-35.

There has always been a great danger, but one that exists especially for us today in our self-conscious and narcissistic society, of mistaking introversion, self-fixation, self-analysis, for true interiority.  The great prevalence of psychological woundedness and social alienation exacerbates this danger while calling for gentle tact and compassion in dealing with it. . . .

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Readings for 15/4/2012

From “The Silence of the Soul,” by Laurence Freeman OSB in THE TABLET 10 May 1997.

[One] reason why silence is so disturbing to us [is this]: As soon as we begin to become silent, we experience the relativity of our ordinary everyday mind. With this mind we measure our space and time coordinates, we calculate probabilities and count up our mistakes and successes.

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Readings for 8/4/2012

An excerpt from Fr. Laurence Freeman’s 2008 Holy Week Reflections, posted at www.wccm.org.

As Holy Week unfolds I am writing from our retreat for young meditators on Bere Island. At this moment there is not a cloud in the sky and the clear light is calling out every hidden colour, shade and texture of the sea, trees and mountains. Nature makes it easy to believe that we are on the human journey into the light of Christ, the Sun of the Resurrection that never sets.

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Readings for 1/4/2012

Palm Sunday

An excerpt from Laurence Freeman, FIRST SIGHT: The Experience of Faith (London: Continuum, 2011), pp. 61-62.  Meditation reunites the pure beam of light which is fragmented in our perception by the prism of the ego. It leads to a new way of seeing, a way of perception that merges the daily practice of meditation with daily life and work as an integrated way of faith. When we see something, as a child, for the first time we are amazed. The world is teeming with undiscovered wonders and we cannot understand why our elders seem so unimpressed by them.

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Readings for 25/3/2012

An excerpt from John Main OSB, “The Inner Christ, MOMENT OF CHRIST (New York: Continuum, 1998), p. 106.

The way of meditation is not a way of escape. Above all, it is not a way of illusion. We neither try to escape the real world of untidy ends and chaotic beginnings and nor do we try to construct an alternative reality of our own. What Jesus promises us is that if we do hold him in reverence in our heart, . . .then all the chaos and all the confusion of the world can have no ultimate power over us.

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Readings for 18/3/2012

As 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.

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Readings for 11/3/2012

A selection from Laurence Freeman OSB, "Spirit," JESUS THE TEACHER WITHIN (New York: Continuum, 2000), pp. 186 87.

The joy of realizing the truth is the bliss of the Spirit. It erases the shame of all previous failures. Aware that this Spirit of truth is with us as a friend, we are better able to tolerate in others and in ourselves what has not yet reached fullness of being. . .Truth is tolerant because the Spirit is forgiving love.

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Readings for 4/3/2012

An excerpt from John Main OSB, “The Way of Dispossession” in FULLY ALIVE Meditatio Talks Series, 2011, Oct-Dec (London: World Community for Christian Meditation, 2011) p. 11

One of the aspects of meditation we have to come to terms with is to learn to approach it not with seeking to gain something, to possess something. We have to try to approach it much more in terms of total devotion beyond ourselves.

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