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Minute Meditations

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How Can We Make the Best of this Season?

How can we make the best of this season? Commit more generously and absolutely to twice-daily meditation. Also embrace two other realistic yet hope-filled practices to develop self-control as a way to personal liberty and freedom from anxiety, compulsiveness and fear. One should involve moderation and the other, exertion. Reduce (or drop) something you do excessively—like alcohol or time-wasting. Add something you don’t do enough—like a daily nonjudgmental act of kindness to someone in need or simply being nice to people when they annoy you.

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

 
 
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Lent Is about Being Faithful

A lot can happen in forty days and forty nights. More useful things will happen if we enter into this period of sweet discipline with open hearts and minds, with conscious attention. It’s not about succeeding, however, but it’s about simply being faithful. That’s when the most interesting, enlivening things happen. It is then that our sense of God is opened, transforming everything.

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

 
 
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Getting Our Priorities Straight

The forty days and nights of Lent are about simplification, purification, getting priorities reestablished and remembering that God, not my ego, is the center of reality. Whatever discipline you take up for Lent (giving up sweets or alcohol, doing spiritual reading, spending more time with your loved ones, helping someone in need) it is about this—simplification and purification. The ancient word for this discipline was ascesis and it was used as a metaphor from the training exercises of athletes. Lent is a time for spiritual ascesis or exercise, shedding some unnecessary mental fat, toning the muscles of attention and patience.

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

 

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Cultivating Spiritual Discipline

The word discipline comes from the Latin discere, meaning “to learn.” We need discipline of course in learning a language, a musical instrument, to drive a car or to love and stay in a relationship. Discipline is not helpful if it is imposed by an external force against our will (except perhaps when we are two years old). If it is to work, discipline needs to be freely accepted and followed. This is especially true of a spiritual discipline. And yet without discipline we remain locked under the control of our ego and its repertoire of fears, anxieties, fantasies and desires. We are free only when we can choose to say yes or no from a place of enlightened self-knowledge.

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Our Eden Instincts

God created us as bodily creatures. The most important aspects of our faith, the ones that touch the greatest mysteries of how we unite ourselves to God, must be bodily experiences as much as they are spiritual ones. The Church, following the example of a Savior who healed with spit and dirt and then proclaimed it was faith that had saved, does not separate our physical experience of grace from our spiritual experience of it. The Church understands our human makeup, body and soul, and knows our Eden instinct longs for both aspects to come back to the fullness of our original relationship with God.

—from When We Were Eve: Uncovering the Woman God Created You to Be by Colleen Mitchell

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Broken and Healed

Our all-loving God does not desire that we seek suffering to become holy, but he does desire that we surrender to him in our suffering so that in our brokenness, his mercy can make us whole again. In being broken open by suffering, we are offered the opportunity to let those open spaces be filled with the mercy and compassion of our God, and in the depth of that mercy to be moved to love him more deeply. Surrendering to suffering is the path we walk backwards through the pain of the fall toward the life of Eden.

—from When We Were Eve: Uncovering the Woman God Created You to Be by Colleen Mitchell

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The Warmth of God's Mercy

It is God’s love that is still holding me by the shoulder as, spoonful by spoonful, I consume the warmth of his mercy into my physical and spiritual being. And when I am fully restored and well, it will be with love and great delight that he touches my hand and calls me to serve again.

We are not called to live a life of servitude to a demanding Father. We are his children whom he wants to heal and feed, then lift into service as evidence of his great love and delight in us. Let us not confuse the two any longer but open our eyes and be fed so that we might serve him from the fullness of our hearts and our confidence in his love.

—from When We Were Eve: Uncovering the Woman God Created You to Be by Colleen Mitchell

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Grace in All Things

I began to see that the intent of Christ was never to relegate redemption to the spiritual realm, leaving us to wait desperately to shed this cumbersome physical world. No, he is in all things and he holds everything together. He is in the bread we eat, he is in the touch of our neighbor, he is in the tears of our children, he is in the dirt we dig up, and he is in the voice of the poor. 

I can't escape the million proofs of a Creator’s delight in creation nor his determination to use it to woo me on earth.

—from When We Were Eve: Uncovering the Woman God Created You to Be by Colleen Mitchell

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Are You Still Running?

Are you still striving, friend? Are you still running yourself ragged looking to have something to offer the Lord to make you worthy of him? Do you look around you and wonder how so many people seem to have gotten so much closer to him while you have been working so hard and still feel so far away? Here’s the good news for today, for you and me both. We can quit the striving and the working and the approval seeking. We can exhale and fill our lungs with the fresh air of acceptance, of appreciation, of being invited into full friendship with Christ. We can be content, satisfied, and grateful. And we don’t have to do a thing to earn it, to deserve it. We don’t need to jockey for position. All we have to do is look up and see him here, beckoning us nearer, and then choose to be drawn in by his loving gaze and tuned into his voice.

—from the book Who Does He Say You Are? Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels by Colleen  Mitchell

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