In, But Not of, the World

Perhaps we never truly feel we belong to this world, even if we cling to it, make it serve us, and try to get it to accept us. A necessary detachment from the market forces of power and egotism can be cultivated even while engaging with those forces. We call this cultivation of detachment, which allows us to see and relate to the world as it is, “regular meditation.” Learning how to meditate regularly is what we call the asceticism, spiritual practice or discipline. Lent is first about remembering that we need such a discipline in our lives, because the world as we see it doesn’t exist any more than do permanent success or immortality. We relate to the real world as soon as we can say, “I do not belong to this world.” Only then may we have something useful to give to the world and be able to serve others in the games of thrones.

—from the book Sensing God: Learning to Meditate during Lent by Laurence Freeman, OSB

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