Online Sunday Service:
Deliver us from Selfing
In this reflection we will be exploring Jesus' teaching as given in Matthew 16:25 "Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it."
Typically we tend to read this as a heavy teaching, but I have come to realise that this is a radical invitation to a profound freedom if we really hear what Jesus is saying.
This guided prayer will give you an opportunity for practice in letting go:
As an ending to the guided meditation, listen to the following instrumental piece of music:
For further reflection:
Below are some of the quotes from the talk, and some additional quotes, for you to reflect on further:
"Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?"
In her book "The Grace in Dying" Kathleen Dowling Singh wrote:
"What I have observed in these deaths ... is profound, transcendent, and extraordinary. By and large, people die in solemnity, peace, and transformed consciousness, radiating energy that can only be described as spiritual. Death, as no other moment we encounter in life, announces itself in resplendent silence." ... "the time of dying effects a transformation from perceived tragedy to experienced grace. ... Dying offers the possibility of entering the radiance, the vastness, of our Essential Nature."
One of the people she journeyed with said to her: "I realized about halfway through this [terminal illness] that I’m not in control, and my body sure isn’t. It’s in the hands of something far greater than me. And that’s what I’m staying connected with.”
Kathleen Dowling Singh's unequivocal reassurance is: "Dying is safe. You are safe. Your loved one is safe."
As he was nearing his own death Fr Thomas Keating wrote a number of poems, and in one of these he wrote:
In the transition from death
To eternal life,
The silence of pre-existence
Bursts into boundless joy.
“If you want the kernel, you must break the shell.”
"This that is tormented and very tired, tortured with restraints like a madman, this heart.
Still you keep breaking the shell to get the taste of its kernel!"
"Here's the new rule: break the wineglass, and fall toward the glassblower's breath."
Richard Rohr wrote recently after an 8 day retreat:
“I believe only the contemplative mind can allow transformation at the deepest levels and help us rest in the awareness of God’s loving presence.”
"We progress in overcoming the illusion of separation from God when we learn how to deal with the barrage of thoughts that pummels us into misery."
“I’m convinced that the root of our divisions can only be overcome by a unitive consciousness at every level: personal, relational, social, political, cultural, and spiritual.”
From one of Thomas Keating's final poems that he wrote before his death:
Our true nature is stillness,
The Source from which we come. . . . .
The deep listening of pure contemplation
Is the path to stillness.
All words disappear into It,
And all creation awakens to the delight of
“Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continually return. Eternity is at our hearts, pressing upon our time-torn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home unto Itself. Yielding to these persuasions, gladly committing ourselves in body and soul, utterly and completely, to the Light Within, is the beginning of true life.”
"Some people get angry when they hear me say that problems are illusions. … The collective disease of humanity is that people are so engrossed in what happens, so hypnotized by the world of fluctuating forms, so absorbed in the content of their lives, they have forgotten the Essence, that which is beyond content, beyond form, beyond thought. They are so consumed by time that they have forgotten eternity, which is their origin, their home, their destiny. Eternity is the living reality of who you are."
As an ending song, listen to the following by Brian Thiessen, called Free to fly:
Lyrics - Free to fly
I've tasted of the Kingdom coming
It was sweet upon my lips
Sweet upon my lips
Though not yet in it's fullness
One day soon
It will take all tears away
Take all tears away
One day I will rise on the winds of heaven
With Your glory in my eyes
One day I will rise with the wings of an eagle
Doing circles in the sky
I'll be free to fly and sure to fall
Into Your arms
Your mercy has been my lifeline and even still
I am clinging to Your hand
Clinging to Your hand
How long 'til we reach the other side
And we wrestle here no more
Wrestle here no more
Ending Prayer (Psalm 137 from Nan Merrill's Psalms for Praying):
Plunge into the Ocean of Love, where heart meets Heart,
Where sorrows are comforted, and wounds are mended.
There, melodies of sadness mingle with dolphin songs of joy;
Past fears dissolve in deep harmonic tones, the future – pure mystery.
For eternal moments lived in total surrender glide smoothly over troubled waters.
Hide not from Love, O friends,
sink not into the sea of despair, the mire of hatred.
Awaken, O my heart, that I drown not in fear!
Too long have I sailed where’er the winds have blown.
O, Heart of all hearts, set a clear course, that I might follow.
Guide me to the Promised Shore.