The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness ...
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention
of the Spirit.
- Romans 8: 26-27
"… And God says, 'Won't you please remember that the purpose of prayer is not to get what you want or to change me ... but to change you, dear heart!' … [It] takes a long time to get that message.
" ... I assure you, when we begin the spiritual journey, there often is a period of great enjoyment and great reassurance, and freedom because the worst part of your life is kind of cleaned up and you experience a certain freedom. But this is only like pruning a few branches on a tree. You still have to deal with the root. And so when the dust settles, you begin to confront your old temptations, worse than before, because now you're more honest, you're more open and vulnerable because of your sincerity and honesty, to the truth.
"… This is an invitation to a new depth of love, a new depth of relating to God, on a more spiritual level which requires a little scrubbing, a little emptying out so that we can relate or hear that marvelous communication, that transmission of divine life which can't come through if the noise of the [egoic] self is too strong. So, it really is a great gift. … Once you start, God is totally on your side. … Whatever psychological experiences to the contrary that you might have, everything works together for good for somebody who's on the spiritual journey, no matter what you think or feel."
- Thomas Keating, excerpts from Monday's video
Now, deep in Holy Week, we can recall the words of Beryl Pogson as she explained to the Work group in Brighton UK on the meaning of the Hymn of Jesus [excerpted]:
"I would be at-oned; and I would at-one.
"This is possible only if a person is at unity with himself. Jesus showed the way in the great moment on the Cross when the Veil of the Temple was rent, which is symbolic of this unity when the veil is down.
"I have no dwelling; and I have dwellings.
"He wanted to be free to dwell in people's hearts.
"I have no place; and I have places.
Amen! I have no temple; and I have temples.
"A temple in the hearts of people."
- Beryl Pogson, Brighton Work Talks
"Transformed in Christ, these blessed souls will live the life of God and not their own life -—although, indeed, it will be their own life because God's life will be theirs … through a union of love. … As he said in the Song of Songs: 'Put me as a seal upon your heart' (Song of Songs 8: 6). … The heart signifies the soul in which God dwells in this life as a seal."
- John of the Cross, The Spiritual Canticle
- Examen*: Fr. Thomas states: "Once you start, God is totally on your side"; thus, we are called forth into new life. Moving closer to Easter, can you take-in these affirming words and know them as truth for yourself? This is the meaning of atonement – to be at-one.
- An archive of previous emails may be found here.
*a spiritual practice involving three-centered observation and reflection on one’s thoughts, feelings, sensations and actions.