I receive emails daily from Fr. Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation. I find these emails very helpful along my prayerful path. They teach, inspire and help guide me. Sometimes I have to admit, I get buried under my inbox. My schedule gets busy and I don't open everyone everyday.
I have learned ... don't beat myself up for not opening everyday. Sometimes I just don't have time, sometimes I have the time but just don't open it, again it is Okay. I have also learned that when I do read the emails, when I open one up and its the first in weeks, it is exactly what I need to hear. God is so good! So don't beat yourself up if you don't accomplish something you wanted to do, or don't get to the emails that are piling up in your inbox. Take a breath and click, it will be OK.
Today was one of those days. When I was able to click, I was able to read an email from CAC and not to my surprise it was amazing. Exactly what I needed to hear. So I wanted to share it with you. Maybe, just maybe it will touch your heart as well.
There is no single way to meditate. There are, however, certain acts and attitudes inherently endowed with the capacity to awaken sustained states of meditative awareness that form the infrastructure of each specific way to meditate. Here are some suggested guidelines.
With respect to the body: Sit still. Sit straight. Place your hands in a comfortable or meaningful position in your lap. Close your eyes or lower them toward the ground. Breathe slowly and naturally. With respect to your mind, be present, open, and awake, neither clinging to nor rejecting anything. And with respect to attitude, maintain nonjudgmental compassion toward yourself—as you discover yourself clinging to and rejecting everything—and nonjudgmental compassion toward others in their powerlessness that is one with yours.
Compassion is the love that recognizes and goes forth to identify with the preciousness of all that is lost and broken within ourselves and others. At first it seems as if compassionate love originates with our free decision to be as compassionate as we can be toward ourselves as we sit in meditation. As our practice deepens, we come to realize that in choosing to be compassionate, we are yielding to the compassionate nature of God flowing through us, in and as our compassion toward our self as precious in our frailty.
When we practice meditation, we are like the repentant prodigal son returning to his father’s house (see Luke 15: 11-32). By the time we begin to meditate, we have probably come to realize how foolish we have been in the past. We are sorry about the suffering our foolish ways have caused ourselves and others. We are sincerely intent on not being so foolish in the future. But like the repentant son heading home to beg for his father’s forgiveness, we are still laboring under the illusion that our wayward ways make us unworthy in the eyes of God.
The idea that our weaknesses are obstacles to God’s love is bound up with our egocentric perception of ourselves as outside God’s sustaining love. Entrenched in the ignorance of our imagined otherness from God, we set out to meditate as a way of overcoming one obstacle after another so that we might succeed in reaching God.
The ego self struggles in its efforts to sit present and awake as a way of being open to God’s presence until the ego exhausts all its own means of overcoming its inability to realize oneness with God. Then, just as all seems lost, we look up to see God running toward us with open arms. Suddenly we realize there is no place within us that is not encountered, embraced, and made whole in a love that does not even care to hear our litany of shortcomings and regrets. We are profoundly loved by God without any foundations for being loved, except divine love itself.
Gateway to Silence: Rest in God resting in me.
Reference:Adapted from James Finley, Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God (HarperSanFrancisco: 2004), 203, 279-282.
“...Seek me and live.”
(Amos 5:4, NIV)
Joel Osteen is such an uplifting pastor. He is always preaching about the gifts and graces that Our Lord has in store for us. All we have to do is claim those gifts and graces in His name!! I have heard some people say that don't agree with his preaching, because there is crosses we must carry. I don't agree, I believe Joel Osteen is helping spread the message of hope and love. Will we have crosses to carry? Yes of course we will. But we should all strive to carry that cross with acceptance and not to fall into self pity.
Matthew 10:38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Is it easy? Of course not. But that is why we seek Him. Because only with Him will we have abundant life. Once we accept that cross, pick it up and ask Our Lord to help us in carrying it, it is in that moment that you will find peace. In that moment you will find joy! I do believe that Our Lord wants us to feel peace and joy here in this world. He doesn't want us walking around feeling sorry for ourselves. He wants us to experience abundant life. He wants us dancing! He wants us to share His love with everyone we encounter! He wants every part of our life to shine! (even while we carry that cross)
As Joel Osteen, said "He wants your relationships to be vibrant and alive. He wants your dreams to be alive. He wants your body, heart and mind to be alive and full of vitality. God is the source of all life, and when you seek Him, you will find Him, and the result will be everlasting life."
So pick up that cross and smile. Smile because you know that God has got you and is guiding you every step of the way. Seek God and allow him to guide you. Allow him to love you. Forgive yourself or others and let go! Have hope, have faith, and live your life to the fullest! Dream big! Claim that dream with Our Lord! Remember our biggest dream is probably but a little seed to Our Lord. Let Him give you this abundant life. Enjoy every moment and share this newfound joy with others!
Here is a little prayer by Joel Osteen, “Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, so that I can have abundant life, both now and in eternity. I humbly come before You, giving You all that I am. I ask for Your hand of blessing and guidance in everything I do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Let’s look at eight beautiful Life Changing Lessons to learn from the inspirational author, Paulo Coelho.
We are all here for a purpose.
“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”
“Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.”
The only thing standing between you and your dream are your fears.
“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
Mistakes are part of life.
“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”
Do not seek love outside of you.
“Love is not to be found in someone else but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person.”
When you change, the whole world changes with you.
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
Mind your own business.
“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”
Nobody’s responsible for how you feel or don’t feel.
“In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel.”
Embrace your authenticity
“You must be the person you have never had the courage to be. Gradually, you will discover that you are that person, but until you can see this clearly, you must pretend and invent.”
“If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule – Never lie to yourself.”
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox