It’s very dangerous to pull a couple of sentences out of a book without creating a context for what you want to impart to people. Once in awhile, however, it can seem imperative to do so because what you’re reading is powerful enough to take the chance that someone (at least) will hear it in a way that is worth the effort.
I was reading Chapter three of Cynthia Bourgeault’s book, Mystical Hope, last night. She was talking about Fr. Thomas Keating’s understanding of different levels of awareness – specifically of “ordinary awareness” and “spiritual awareness.” When I finished reading page 52, I wrote in the margin, “Read this aloud.” Please try doing so with what follows.
The only thing blocking the emergence of this whole and wondrous other way of knowing is your over-reliance on your ordinary thinking. If you can just turn that off for a while, then the other will begin to take shape in you, become a reality you can actually experience. And as it does, you will know, in a way you cannot presently know, your absolute belonging and place in the heart of God, and that you are part of this heart forever and cannot possibly fall out of it, no matter what may happen.
If you are even mildly moved by Cynthia’s words, I would urge you to read the book. About 13 years ago it set me on a course that included centering prayer and the hunger that it produced has changed my life. I know this path is not for everyone but I am, it seems, compelled this morning to share this. Therefore, if you’re so inclined, let me know how it goes for you in the next decade of your life.