Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A scattered time of the year

We pondered the Magnificat last Sunday and there was a single phrase that I understood in a completely new way.

The biggest stumbling block to spiritual growth is egoic pride. The mindset and behaviours which emerge as self sufficiency, knowing all, knowing what is best, superiority, self centeredness, resistance to feedback ... to name a few. We all have these, and the extent to which we seek their transformation shows - in those moments - humility. The Blessed of the beatitudes.

The core of Centering Prayer is the dismantling and transformation of the egoic self, the False Self. In the practice of Centering Prayer, for 20 minutes, I enter my ‘heart’ and let go of each thought, feeling, imagination or sensation as it occurs. Thus the space is created for God’s presence and action within.

And so I heard this phrase -

“... God has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.” (Lk 1:51)

and knew in my being its truth.

I can know I’m in my pridefulness when I am ‘scattered’.

Or to say it another way. In a usual 'sit' as I practice Centering Prayer I have many thoughts. That is normal, when I engage or chase of follow any thought the result is being 'scattered'. Yet each time I use my sacred word to let go of that thought, I'm 'gathered'.

Engaging the thoughts invading my heart are my undoing. They are thoughts that seek to preserve my egoic self.

The pathway of humility lies in not believing the thoughts of my heart, but - even if for a moment - letting it go and letting God be.

And I’m centered, yielded, touched with the stillness of Mary on a star filled night.

Now I’m ready, as a vessel, to be present to the mystery of the incarnation.

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