Minute Meditations

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Mystics Are Chosen by God

One of the truths that is becoming more evident to me the more I study and think about the mystics is that they are not ordinary but chosen souls whom God came to when they were not expecting such a visitation. That they are chosen and special is God’s choice, not something they somehow merit. The rest of us try daily to go to God in our ordinary lives by living in faith, while the mystics spend their lives responding to the great gift of God’s extraordinary entrance into their lives. They show us what it is like to be taken over by God while at the same time cautioning us that we cannot merit God’s tangible presence. But given those distinctions, even we in our ordinary lives can embrace Christ on the cross. We can place ourselves physically and spiritually in a space or place that makes it at least a compatible space for “hearing” God’s voice and “seeing” God’s manifestations, should God decide to show us the divine presence in a way that is beyond the faith we have from our baptism.

—from the book Mystics: Twelve Who Reveal God's Love by Murry Bodo, OFM

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Being Present Is Honoring Now

John Duns Scotus (a Franciscan theologian in the thirteenth century) talked about “thisness,” the particularity of the Most Extraordinary Ordinary Thing in the World. Thisness reminds us that being present is not about arriving at some Zen state of mind. And being present is not about dismissing what is current. Being present is about honoring precisely what is current—which means the wonderful scandal of the particular. Our mind is more pleased with universals—those never-broken-always-applicable rules and patterns that allow us to predict and control things. Well, such rules may be good for science, but they are lousy for life.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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The Messiness of Life

Messiness exposes vulnerability. I will admit, vulnerability is not my strong suit. I do prefer self-sufficiency. And rising above. And yet, self-reliance sounds laudable, but can be an obstacle, because it is difficult to say the words “help” or “thank you.” So, here’s the good news: There is power in embracing vulnerability. And vulnerability never exempts us from the sacrament of the present. Because vulnerability allows us to rest in that touch, that blessing.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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Unabashed Joy Is Already Inside of Us

Let us pause and remember that savoring isn’t something you add or acquire. Unabashed joy is already inside. It springs from within. It is a well of abundance that you draw from. So, savoring is not a technique. And savoring is never an end unto itself. It is always fueled by gratitude. And gratitude lights up our senses. We enter into, we show up to the needs and cares of this day. I suppose that it’s a chicken or egg scenario. And which comes first, I’m not sure. I do know that savoring makes space for gratitude. And gratitude begets savoring. Either way, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the present.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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Listen to This Moment

A Hasidic rabbi was interrupted by one of his followers while he was tending his garden, “What would you do, rabbi,” the student asked, “if you knew the messiah was coming today?” Stroking his beard and pursing his lips, the rabbi replied, “Well, I would continue to water my garden.”

So, before we decipher life, let us see life.

Before we wish for another life, let us feel this life.

Before we give in to “if only,” let us listen to this moment.

Before we succumb to “someday,” let us inhale this day.

Before we trade in this life for the life we “should” have, let us taste this life.

Each of the above is a choice; a choice to be open. To be available. To be curious. To be alive. To be willing to be surprised by joy. To know there is power in the word enough.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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Live Without Holding Back

I have lived most of my emotional and spiritual life with a heart condition. Because I have lived cautious and afraid, holding back my heart because of what it might cost, or require of me. Or fearing (running from) my brokenness, not believing that an open and broken heart is an invitation to live my days giving, creating, embracing, connecting, savoring, and celebrating. It is no wonder that, too often, I do not see. Hundreds of years ago, in an era much more fraught than ours, St. Francis learned to live without holding back his heart. His antidote to confusion and paralysis was a return to simplicity, one step at a time, one person at a time, one good thing at a time, the right-in-front-of-you idea of searching for the light even while living with the darkness. His genius was that he saw what was hidden in plain sight. It was so simple it is almost impossible to see; we are wired to be present.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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Living Intentionally and Fully Alive

Living intentionally and fully alive—from a place of groundedness, being at home in our own skin—is not a technique. Nor is it a kind of mental Rubik’s cube, to be solved. There is no list. But if we demand one, chances are, we pass this life by—the exquisite, the messy, the enchanting, the wondrous, the delightful, the untidy—on our way to someplace we think we ought to be.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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The Power of Enough

We know there is power in the word enough. We carry this capacity to honor the present into every encounter and relationship, meaning that we honor the dignity that is reflected by God’s goodness and grace. Every encounter, every relationship, is a place to include, invite mercy, encourage, receive, heal, reconcile, repair, say thank you, pray, celebrate, refuel, and restore.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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