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An excerpt from John Main OSB, “Space to Be,” MOMENT OF CHRIST (New York: Continuum, 1998), pp. 92-93.

To know ourselves, to understand ourselves and to . . .get ourselves and our problems in perspective, we simply must make contact with our spirit. All self-understanding arises from understanding ourselves as spiritual beings, and it is only contact with the universal Holy Spirit that gives us the depth and the breadth to understand. . .The way to this is very simple, but it does require serious commitment.

The daily commitment of meditation is the way of making contact with our own spirit. All we have to do is be as still as possible in body, in mind, and in spirit. We learn to let go of our thoughts, ideas and imagination, and we learn to rest in the depths of our own being. 

Why is this so powerful? Because it gives us the space that our spirit needs to breathe. It gives us the space to be ourselves. When we are meditating we don’t need to apologize for ourselves and we don’t need to justify ourselves. All we need to do is to be who we are, to accept the gift of our own being.  And in that acceptance, we come into harmony with the Spirit of God. 

After Meditation, from Theodore Roethke, “The Rose,” COLLECTED POEMS (New York: Doubleday, 1966), p. 205.

Near this rose, in this grove of sun-parched, wind-warped madronas

Among the half-dead trees, I came upon the true ease of myself. 

As if another man appeared out of the depths of my being,

And I stood outside myself,

Beyond becoming and perishing,

As something wholly other,

As if I swayed out on the wildest wave alive,

And yet was still. 

And I rejoiced in being what I was. 

Carla Cooper

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