A Note From Fr. LeRoy
We are in the midst of Advent, and I believe Advent is a great time to delve into the very mystery of God through meditation, solitude, and silence. In our society we have often lost the gift of meditation, solitude and silence and so we often experience a sort of loss of self. For this reason, in the Season of Advent, I would like to offer you a meditation from Thomas Merton, a spiritual giant in the contemplative life and someone whose writing I enjoy very much. I’ll paraphrase and add to some of his words, but it essentially goes like this:
“We know God in so far as we become aware of ourselves as known by and through God. We possess God in proportion as we realize ourselves to be possessed by God in the inmost depths of our being. Meditation or “prayer of the heart” is the active effort we make to keep our hearts open so that we may be enlightened by God and realize our true relation to God (and self). The classic form of meditation (and solitude) is repetitive invocation of the name of Jesus in a heart emptied of all images and cares. Hence, the aim of meditation, in the context of Christian faith, is not to arrive at an objective and apparently “scientific” knowledge about God, but to come to know through the realization (and experience) that our very being is penetrated with God’s knowledge and love. Our knowledge of God is paradoxically then a knowledge of ourselves as utterly dependent on God’s saving and merciful knowledge of us. It is in proportion as we (allow ourselves) to be known to God that we find our real being and identity in Christ.”
In this Advent Season, before it sweeps us off our feet in preparation for Christmas, let’s be sure to take this gift of time in meditation, solitude, and silence to enter with our minds and hearts into the very mystery of why God’s Son was born for us!
Peace. Fr. LeRoy Scheierl