Humility.

Any time we look at our Maker with love, our importance in our own eyes diminishes, and we are filled with awe and humility and love for others.
— Julian of Norwich

Sisters & Brothers,

I used to be an either/or, all or nothing type of thinker. When I started really considering and learning about contemplative prayer a few months ago this was one of the first things that I realized I needed to give up. The problem here was that I expected to sit in my chair, close my eyes and be transported to some state of grace. As I would find out (the hard way) this isn't actually how any of that works and if I continued to think this way I'd just end up frustrated.

I'm a human (just like you) and our minds are going a million miles a minute but the interesting thing is that the majority of the thoughts in our minds (90%) are repetitive, stress inducing, worthless thoughts that we really could do without. Quite a lot of those thoughts fall into the all or nothing, either/or categories and we just end up in a never ending loop of indecision and mindlessness. If we can get to the point where we settle down those thoughts we find that there is far more room for contemplation that we can grow spiritually from.

Once I started realizing this I started to really fall in love with God. Manly because I had far more time to experience His graces and love for me instead of dwelling on garbage. I knew deep down I loved Him before then but nothing like this. This was that love that you have for your wife, mother, father, family, etc. It burns, it gives you butterflies, it makes you smile and feel full. For me the next step made me put myself last, falling to my knees, offering everything up to Him and realizing that He is the most important thing in my life and always will be. This would completely torch any ego that I had left and showed me true humility. For I saw Him, everyone else and then me. I'm not sure I ever knew what true love was even though I thought I knew what love was. Until now.

I believe the affirmation of all this is when someone tells me that they see peace or feel joy from me. These are the feelings that course through my body and soul these days. It's far more difficult for me to get mad and stay mad for any length of time. In fact I can't actually remember the last time I was mad at someone or something. It just feels like it's been dropped from my spiritual vocabulary. God isn't going to get mad at me so what makes me think I should get mad at someone else?

My brothers and sisters when it comes down to it my love for you knows no bounds and this world would be a much better place if we all just realized that love doesn't cost us anything but hate will cost us our souls. I'm not perfect and I still have days when I find myself thinking about something so trivial or something that I cannot change. Contemplative prayer takes a lifetime of learning and as long as we can continue to have conversations with God without thinking about what we're going to do for breakfast tomorrow morning or if we paid that one bill there will always be fruit growing on that wonderful tree for us.

So friends whether you believe in God or not I challenge you to turn down your ego and allow humility to reign throughout your life, think before you speak, question before you act and love before you hate. For if we do even one of these things the effect will be a ripple across this universe that will plant the seed that is love and as long as we cultivate it we'll be able to benefit from all the fruits it will bear.

Yours,

Jeff

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash