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Thursday February 7 – A Pause
image courtesy of Ron Barnett
I have set before you death and life.
Choose life!  
- Deuteronomy 30: 19
Set before you are fire and water;
to whichever you choose,
stretch forth your hand.
- Sirach 15: 16
Today, as we prepare to close the introductory part of our program, we pause and reflect, we breathe in and out: What have we heard? What has spoken to our heart? What do we wish to carry forward?
A Meditation
"For the yearning for truth burns in the human soul and finds satisfaction whenever truth is finally met. This yearning is a flame that cannot be extinguished. … The human soul hungers to know who God is, just as a child wants to know his own father and mother.
"… By its very nature, the contemplative life … inflames the soul's thirst for truth. Indeed, there is no contemplative grace bestowed unless a soul plunges deeply into a craving for truth. Over the course of time, the contemplative becomes a soul consumed by a desire for truth. Every falsity and artificial mask, every compromise that leans aways from truth, every contrived and convenient interpretation that strays from truth, is inimical to contemplative life.
"This is not all surprising, nor does it require strenuous effort. The turning each day to what is real and true becomes a natural impulse for the contemplative precisely because God is ultimate reality and truth. The degree to which our soul lives in truth, in even the simplest of daily tasks and endeavors, conquering pretension and egoism, confronting the truth of our absolute dependency on God is simply an indirect preparation and readiness for all deeper relations with God."
- Donald Haggerty, The Contemplative Hunger
"The purpose, then, of silence, is to give an opportunity for the longing for God to break through the crust of the … self and our defense mechanisms so that we can be motivated by that hunger and that love to pursue the transformative process untiringly."
- Thomas Keating, "The Pursuit of Happiness" video segment from session 2
To Practice:
- Review any emails, readings, video excerpts or transcripts you found particularly helpful or you wish to take in again more deeply. An archive of previous emails may be found here.
- A powerful way of embodying a truth is by affirmation. In this way, what is outward and external, perhaps interesting and worthy as an idea, becomes real and living, connected with the inner spirit and conveying meaning. After reflection, deep listening and pondering these offerings, in faith, you might choose a phrase as an affirmation and carry it with you into the next part of our work together.

- If you joined a Journey Group, you should have received confirmation of your group meeting time and facilitator. If you have any questions about the Journey Groups, please reply to this email or inquire with your facilitator.
Resources for Further Study:

You may wish to review a reading that has been referenced during these past weeks.
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