Sunday, May 16, 2010
Laurence Freeman OSB presents Jesus as a teacher of the Contemplative life; a teacher of Meditation. This is a point Christians have overlooked for centuries, but a point that is clearly illustrated in the Gospels, especially The Sermon On The Mount found in the Gospel according to Matthew. It is a point we need to get back to as Christians, and more importantly as followers of Jesus the Christ. So much of Christianity today is focused on egotistical self-seeking ways; making sure of our salvation, and to hell with the rest of humanity or creation. Jesus calls us beyond this mindset and into a direct relationship with God. This relationship with God brings us into Unity, not only with God, the Greatest Good and Root of All Being, but into Unity and relationship with our fellows and the rest of the Universe. Thus when we are in a direct relationship with God, there is no way we can doubt the Salvation of ourselves or others. Rather we see the One moving and working within the many. Just as a wave on the ocean can not doubt in any way that it is water, so too when we discover our true Self through the practice of Meditation, can not doubt in any way our Ultimate identity or destination. Give just one hour per day to the practice of Meditation, and you will soon see what I am talking about, and more importantly, what the Almighty seeks to remind you of! Bringing the Contemplative Life and the practice of Meditation back into Christianity is truly the Great Unfinished Work of our day and age.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
When the son of Adam comes in His glory, accompanied by His messengers, then He will occupy His glorious throne. Then all peoples will be assembled before Him, and He will separate them , much as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on His right and the goats to His left. Then the King will say to those at His right, "Come you who have the blessing of my Father, inherit the domain prepared for you from the foundation of the world. You may remember, I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a foreigner in your land and you offered Me hospitality; I was naked and you clothed me; I was ill and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to see Me."
Then the virtuous will say to Him, "Lord when did we see you hungry and feed You or thirsty and give You a drink? When did we see You as a foreigner and give You hospitality? When did we see You naked and clothe you, and when did we find you ill or in prison and come to visit You?"
And the King will respond to them, "I swear to you, whatever you did for the least most inconspicuous members of My family, you did for Me as well."
Next He will say to those at His left, "You condemned to the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his messengers, get away from Me! For I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you refused Me anything to drink; I was a foreigner and you failed to offer Me hospitality; naked and you did not clothe me; ill and in prison and you did not come to visit Me."
Then they will give a similar reply, "Lord, when did we notice that You where hungry or thirsty or a foreigner or naked or ill or in prison and not attempt to help You?"
He will respond: "I swear to you, whatever you did not do for any of the least most inconspicuous members of My family, you did not do for Me."
Then the second group will head for everlasting punishment, but the virtuous for everlasting life.
Gospel According to Matthew 25: 31-46 (SV)
Thursday, May 13, 2010
It is related of Nahum of Gamzu that he was blind in both of his eyes, his two hands and legs were amputated, and his whole body was covered with boils and he was lying in a dilapidated house on a bed the feet of which where standing in bowls of water in order to prevent the ants from crawling onto him. His disciples said to him, "Master, why has this befallen you?" And he replied, "I have brought this condition onto myself. Once I was on a journey to my father-in-law's house with three donkeys. One donkey was loaded down with food. The second donkey was loaded down with all kinds of drink. The third donkey was laden with delicious desserts. Close to my father-in-law's home a poor man stopped me and said, 'Master, please give me something to eat.' I replied, 'Wait until I have unloaded all three donkeys at my father-in-law's home, and then I will return to give you something to eat.' But before I could finish unloading the donkeys, the poor man died of starvation. I then went and threw myself upon the man's body and exclaimed, 'May my eyes which had no pity on your eyes become blind, may my hands which had no pity on your hands be cut off, may my legs be amputated, and may my whole body be covered with boils for not having had mercy upon you.'" Thereupon the disciples exclaimed, "Alas that we see you in such a plight!" To this he replied, "Woe to me if you did not see me in such a plight."
Babylonian Talmud, Taanith 21.A
at 10:03 AM
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Last week I passed a man and a woman standing on a street corner with a sign saying they needed help. I was in a hurry so as not to be late for work, so I passed them by. The next day I saw the same couple sitting a few yards from where I had seen them last, both now severely sunburned and clearly in bad straights. I stopped to offer help, as did another lady right behind me. This raised the question in my mind; How much suffering does it take before otherwise good people will stop and do the right thing?