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Thursday March 14 – Why Wait?
image courtesy of Ron Barnett
Therefore I prayed and prudence was given me;
I pleaded and the spirit of Wisdom came to me.
… Sincerely I learned about her,
 and ungrudgingly do I share --
her riches I do not hide away.
For she is an unfailing treasure;
those who gain this treasure win the
friendship of God
being commended by the gifts
that come
from her discipline.
- Wisdom 7: 7, 13-14
"When John says, 'The Word became flesh,' it's the incredible affirmation that God took upon himself, not just the ideal human nature, but human nature in its flesh; that is, in its actual condition of privation, misery, sin, death -- taking the whole thing upon himself … That means he must have experienced the temptation to get fixated at some level of his human growth.
"… What we're confronted with when we begin the spiritual journey … is the experience of temptation … and the purification that comes through temptation resisted. So anybody who is resisting or trying to dismantle … these emotional programs for happiness, is in the desert, and is in union with Christ; or, rather, Christ is in union with them, in virtue of the solidarity of the human family and his taking it totally to himself in his Incarnation.
"… Later, when Jesus was preaching … he laid out his idea of happiness. The Beatitudes simply mean: 'Oh, how happy you would be, if …' That's what 'beatitude' really means. … In other words, true happiness is … the joy and freedom of trusting in God to protect [us], to provide for [us], to nurture [us].

" ... So the Gospel, then, is a message that challenges our programs for happiness head on and invites us to change them. If we hear that message and follow it, this is represented as wisdom. If we don't, then we have to rely on the tragedies of life to turn us around and finally convince us … Why wait until you have to be clobbered by life before getting this message?"
- Thomas Keating, excerpts from Monday's video
"Know thyself: and this refers to the mirror. … What is this mirror, then, if not the Divine Spirit? When a man looks in it and sees himself in it, he turns away from all that is called 'gods and demons.' He attaches himself to a process of purification, through the instrument of the mirror, which becomes the Holy Spirit …. By means of the mirror he eventually sees God who is in him, by the intermediation of the Holy Spirit."
- Maurice Nicoll, The Mark
"You have to trust your inner life, your innermost self … rather than the empirical ego or the external self, the social self. This means that you live as you stand naked before God … listen from the heart … united to God and one another."
- Brother Patrick Hart, secretary to Thomas Merton, commenting on Merton's legacy in an interview with Sister Mary Margaret Funk, OSB, 2004
To Practice
- The Beatitudes are wisdom sayings with levels upon levels of meaning for each level of consciousness leading to the transformation mentioned above. Continue to spend time with them as they are outlined in Monday's message or with the particular one that spoke to you upon first reading. Listen from the heart. Notice any feeling, thought or prayer that arises within you.  We will return to the Beatitudes again in our journey.
- Consciousness of the Whole: There are about 450 of us journeying together this year, more than can be seated in the sanctuary at The Church of Conscious Harmony.  About 200 of us are in Journey Groups, half of which are meeting via the Zoom-video platform.  Many of us come from all over the United States.  The community is expanding and evolving; our sense of "we" is being enlarged.  All Glory to God!

Resources for Further Study:
You may wish to read Chapters 18 and 19 in Invitation to Love (20th Anniversary Edition), Chapters 17 and 18 in earlier editions.
An archive of previous emails may be found here.
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