Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Two Meditations April 1975

   Meditation One
    In the past few years, in this area as in many others, there has been much discussion and practice of a form of spiritual activity known as transcendental meditation. There has also been much attempt at the practice of charismatic renewal, and also a good deal of controversy; this too has occurred in this locality as well as many others.
    As those who have come to wisdom understand, the world that tried to interfere along the way has a perverted version of every real virtue, of every true sentiment or passion. The world, of course, is not alone in this distortion; the flesh and the devil outdo themselves keeping it company. Thus it is no easy task to come to a pure and perfect comprehension of each virtue and of each good feeling and some habits, because of this inimical distortion, though they might seem good on the first inspiration, we are tempted to put away from us unless we are fully and confidently instructed as to their worth.

Meditation Two
    My friend said something to me last night about the writings on purgatory of a certain St Catherine. I was too tired then, it being late, to ponder much on purgatory, but as I have been going through certain memories, sometimes with joy, sometimes with much agony of spirit, the force of what she said stayed with me until it connected up with some previous discoveries I had made about purgatory, that it was a state in which we behold, with something of God's vision, the effect of our sins of omission and negligence.
    John of the Cross tells us that an hour of purgation here is worth many in the actual state of purgatory. Such an hour - or hours, for they have come to me usually as a series of lessons rather than one or two - are therefore a great blessing, not only because they cut short or eliminate (in the case of some) the sentence of the real purgatory, but because they present to us the possibilities of the state of beatitude and perfection that can become ours.
    There is no question of their agony and humiliation. Within one of these times we see ourself as nothing more than an ungrateful wretch, abusive of the choices of God's graces, outrageously ignorant, and constantly tottering on the brink of innumerable nasty sins with no tenderness for our  neighbour and nothing to love in ourselves. But when the trial is over, of course, and our memory and understanding a little better adjusted, Our Lord comes to us with such tender concern and enlightenment that we can almost forget that the hour ever existed.
    Blessed be God, who always gives us exactly what we need at the time we need it.

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