Reflection for July 12, 2017

We need to avoid the compulsiveness that comes with the desire to “get somewhere” 2017Jul12spiritually.  That’s a wrong kind of goal setting.  We don’t have to get anywhere in prayer, because we are already there (in God); we simply have to become aware that we are there.  What is more, the desire to make “progress in the spiritual life,” because it concentrates on ourselves and our efforts to realize oneness with God (rather than on God with whom we are one), can be a deterrent to true awareness — as the following story suggests.  A zealous young monk came to his Zen master and asked, “If I really work at it, how long will it take me to achieve enlightenment?”  The master’s answer was: “If you work hard at it, it will take you five years.  If you work very hard, it will take you twenty years.”

Silence on Fire by William Shannon

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