I prepared this blog early last week as a meditation for us to quieten our minds which are assaulted more than ever each day with life and drama. We need it more than ever after the tragedy in Melbourne over the weekend with the rampage of that crazy driver wreaking havoc in the CBD. My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of the deceased and also with those still in intensive care and in hospital.
Find Your Quiet Place by Lisa Hunt-Wotton
Quieten Your Mind
Find your quiet place wherever you are and listen. Nature is the best place to draw us into silence and solitude. It refreshes us, resets our souls and re-directs our spirits and thoughts to the things that truly matter. We need to rest our bodies but we also need to rest our minds. Our minds are bombarded all day and as Henri Nouwen says we need to convert our unceasing thoughts into unceasing prayer, or unceasing meditation.
Think on these things: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”. Philippians 4:8
“Our minds are always active. We analyze, reflect, daydream, or dream. There is not a moment during the day or night when we are not thinking. You might say our thinking is “unceasing.” Sometimes we wish that we could stop thinking for a while; that would save us from many worries, guilt feelings, and fears. Our ability to think is our greatest gift, but it is also the source of our greatest pain. Do we have to become victims of our unceasing thoughts? No, we can convert our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer by making our inner monologue into a continuing dialogue with our God, who is the source of all love”.
“Let’s break out of our isolation and realize that Someone who dwells in the center of our beings wants to listen with love to all that occupies and preoccupies our minds” (Henri Nouwen).
This Beloved is the “secret” of the contemplative life, of “pray without ceasing”. It is ultimately about our complete and total surrender and submission to divine LOVE (God, Lover of all souls, Great Mystery, Ultimate Reality, Relationship at the Center of All).
It is what the mystics across time, religion and philosophy have tried to express and called among other things; centering down, emptying, nothingness. We start by pouring out everything on our hearts and minds (emptying), then we sit (“wait upon the LORD”) and simply “listen” in expectation surrendered to LOVE. In this posture, we may “hear”, “You are my Beloved in whom I am well pleased.”
Excerpt by Patrick Watters
For those of us who identify as Christians, this is what Jesus modeled for us while on earth. He was constantly at the feet of his Father in heaven.
Find your “quiet place” wherever you are, and listen.
“Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you’
How does our heart become one with God? We connect to the heart of God, creation and the contemporary world through the rhythms of prayer, contemplation and solitude. These are the three things that unite us with God (Ray Simpson). These are the things that bring us peace and rest. They keep our mind healthy and our hearts whole.
Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations are copyrighted by the Center for Action and Contemplation. You may sign up to receive these messages via email by visiting cac.org/sign-up. Please also consider “liking” the Center for Action and Contemplation’s Facebook page: facebook.com/CenterforActionandContemplation
Text excerpts taken from Bread for the Journey, by Henri J.M. Nouwen, ©1997 HarperSanFrancisco. All Scripture from The Jerusalem Bible ©1966, 1967, and 1968 Darton, Longman & Todd and Doubleday & Co. Inc. Scripture chosen by L. Yeskoo.
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