Create in me a pure heart, Oh God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
nor take from me your Holy Spirit.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation;
uphold me with a willing spirit.
- Psalm 51: 11-14
"The spiritual journey is based on the growth of divine love, the capacity to relate, to belong, to support, to forgive … in the Christian religion: 'Love your neighbor as yourself' … not … sentimental love, romantic love, but the love that cares, that is concerned — and this is what it means to be a human being. Any disposition less than the effort to love everyone in the world without exception and those closest to us unconditionally is subhuman! It's irrational. It’s been brought to an end by Jesus."
- Thomas Keating, ending of Monday's video
We join with the psalmist in asking for a pure heart.
"Now heart in the ancient world was taken more generally to stand for the 'inner man,' and in particular for the mind and the will. … The heart is a symbol of what we are in ourselves, of the source of all our reactions and aspirations. 'Blessed are the pure in heart' will mean something like 'Blessed are those who have a pure source of life in them.' . . . Blessed are those whose inner principle is pure, unmuddied."
- Simon Tugwell, The Beatitudes: Soundings in Christian Traditions
"Why does relationship scarcely exist in the mechanical world and habit and compromise take its place? … Why are two people potentially such an explosive mixture? They would not be so explosive if they had some reciprocal degree of self-knowledge through the practice of self-observation. Why? Because it leads – say, in my case – to seeing myself in the other and the other in myself. … This opens the real-inner heart, because it goes deeper than and beyond the closed self-willed, self-loving, exclusive heart. … When you clearly begin to see yourself in others and others in yourself, it is a revelation – at the expense of self-idolatry and self-conceit. It is a true and real expansion of consciousness to see yourself in your neighbor and your neighbor in yourself. You can then understand that the development and extension of this conscious relationship would lead to that compassion for the world that, we are told, characterized the great teachers of humanity in the past. The word is used of Christ. It would not be a sentimental act but a permanent state of insight with a new feeling of I. … This magical, interpenetrating reciprocal consciousness … the whole world needs."
- Maurice Nicoll, "Commentary on Doing the Work," Commentaries, Vol. 5
… because the love of God has been poured out
into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us …
The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart …
- Romans 5: 5; 10: 8
- View the video excerpt "Centering Prayer and Divine Therapy," from Invitation from God. It is about six minutes in length. The video and transcript are found on this page.
- Reflect upon how practicing Centering Prayer and engaging the Work of Inner Christianity have or are bringing to conscious awareness the wounds of a lifetime for your healing. Is there greater compassion for yourself, for the world?
Resources for Further Study:
You may wish to read the Introduction and Chapters 1-5 and 7 in Invitation to Love (20th Anniversary Edition) and the Introduction through Chapter 6, in older editions.
An archive of previous emails may be found here.