Bound For Glory: Transfiguration Spirituality

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during that time jesus came from nazareth in galilee and was baptized and the jordan by john
immediately on coming out of the water he saw the sky rent and to and the spirit descend on him like a duck
and then a voice came from the heavens you are my beloved
on you my favor rests
at that point the spirit sent him out toward the desert
he stayed in the wasteland forty days put to the test their by satan
he was with the wild beasts and angels waited on him
cheers ah sarnoff ah
the hate me
she is also ah the
lee hate me
ah hide me

i did a very bad thing yesterday i forgot to give your homework
and it's your duty as students to remind the teacher of that sort of punisher you'll get twice the homework at the end to the upper while not to or i forgot last night too so everybody had a free day so it was meant to be right
as before i begin today's presentation which is obstacles along the road to glory the road which is the road of glory as we showed yesterday i want you to find one of the person and this is gonna be a little bit tricky and terms of gymnastics you might even want to stand to do this or you can 't
hi to do it on your states but what you want to do is find another person and sit so that your backs are leaning against each other or stand so that you're leaning and can feel your back's against each other supporting one another so if you'd do that

and make sure your i'm actually leaning against put your weight so that your kind of supporting each other you know as kids we used to do this sort of thing
kind of lean on me okay we're going to do this in silence you don't have to share our talk you don't have to look into their eyes
this should be easier maybe but make sure you're putting some of your weight so that they have to support you and you have to support them but don't completely fall on the mirror
and just experience pay attention to your back to the person that's supporting you and your supporting them
be aware of that
feel the pressure on your back

yesterday we looked at each other as spaces and eyes to see the glory which is the river of love pouring itself out
which is god's presence in us
but yesterday we talked about this cross
which in one way supports us in the glory
and we carry on our backs are process don't we
but the cross as we carry on our backs also can be a support
helping us and others to stand in glory
the very same part of us that carries this burden can be a strength a support
a trellis

in the cross as our glory and the glory is our cross

now turn around and give that person and reading a piece

you never know what i'm going to come up with the edge
obstacles along the road to glory which is the road of glory
and i began you noticed not with the transfiguration story which i've begun everyday but we talked about to truly understand that laurie when asked one go back to the baptismal experience of jesus and that's on also important for us and that glory our own baptism but i read further in the back
doesn't story didn't lie to that same spirit that jesus experiences which is the spirit of god's love filling him and and coming over him leads him into the desert and that kind of leads us into the steam of obstacles
as powerful what i'm suggesting as powerful as jesus experience of god's love was at the time of his baptism it was subject to doubt
the story and the desert shows jesus tempted in much the same way that we all are tempted to sick faults glory in exchange for our true glory gods river of love in us
even jesus experienced the full onslaught and power of these temptations
and at the end the story tells us he was very tired was not easy for him was very tired and weak and he needed assistance from god represented by the angels and the story
but also says he was what the wild beasts so these doubts
can be like wild beasts can be like demons
the temptation to be who we are not to grab faults glory
is based on doubt
and doubt is based on a lack of trust
it seems to me it takes an incredible amount of trust which is what biblical faith is to truly believe the truth of our baptism and the truth of jesus baptism
and what makes this trust difficult
what makes it difficult to really believe and accept who we really are with every fiber of our being is fear
that's what i'm talking about today fear
you read through the bible it's the constant
fame or obstacle for human beings in our relationship with god
and you're not fair and trust go together the greater the fair what the last there is a trust and the greater the trust the less there is a fear so they're almost have like a seesaw relationship as one rises one goes down and as the other rise as the other goes down
so you cannot talk about biblical faith growth and faith and trust without becoming aware of fear and looking at fear in our life
remember st john's words in one of his letters perfect love casts out all fear not some fear
all fear
fear is the greatest obstacle for us and claiming the glory that we are as gods river of love
the demon in the desert tempting jesus is the demon of fear
so and mark's gospel
you remember the early chapters jesus is exorcising demons right and left and are very dramatic scenes more so unlocked than the other gospels
and these demons are demons of fear
there's one dramatic when a chapter five the expulsion of the devil in garissa remember the story they came to the garrison territory and the other side of the lake and they've got out of the boat and he was immediately met by a man from the tubes
who had an unclean spirit a demon the man had taken refuge among the tombs he could no longer be restrained even with chains in fact he had frequently been secured with handcuffs and change but had pulled the chains apart and smash the fetters how powerful fear of diem
and fear can be
no one had proved strong enough to tame him taming our fears uninterruptedly night and day amid the tombs and on the hillsides he screamed
and gashed himself with stones
and catching sight of jesus at a distance he ran up did him homage and shrieked and a loud voice why meddle with me jesus son of god most high i implore you in god's name do not torture me is afraid
now this is this powerful
demon pulls chains apart can take control of a human being can gash in against stones
and yet is afraid
is consumed by fear
and that fear is kind of like a living death isn't that he lives in the tombs that their berries the truth of who we really are
remember i sent jesus conquered that death with the death of love the death which is what the freely giving over a beloved that you are pouring who you are as love out is what congress that death at what holes on
that lives in the tools
so many events of our lives beginning when we are very young and continuing until the day we die
fuel our fear don't say and weekend our trust
the problem of becoming love is fear
and the problem of fear is a lack of trust
til the day he died on the cross
jesus was plagued with many attacks upon his trust
especially when he was rejected by all the religious leadership
when his disciples deserted him
when one of them betrayed him when another one of them denied him three times publicly
when he was falsely arrested
and tried and condemned on trumped up charges when he was persecuted and tortured
experienced a violent death at a young premature age when he experienced abandonment even by his god for some moments on the cross
all of those were tests to say do you really believe in your baptismal experience
do you really believe that you are river of love
flowing out upon the world and raising up to new york life do you really believe that you are god's river love
so unless we think while he was the son of god he had an easy when you human beings have a hard time believing were a river of love nor the gospels present jesus struggling every inch of away
as powerful as the experience is
he was challenged to appropriate to play that experience over and over it was a daily choice he had to choose to trust in that experience
at every turn jesus had to make an act of trust
and claim the love that he was and not given to fear
because if he were to give him to fear then he would have one reached out for false sense of identity a false sense of self for some kind of substitute
when we don't trust who we really are we go running after who we are not as if it were the real thing the real glory
what i'm suggesting is i believe fair runs very very deep in us
there is fair and us that you and i don't even know about
there are layers of fear in us
deeper than we can ever imagine and know
and sometimes were shown this aren't we went were suddenly surprised by a fear and us and we may be shocked and a particular time in our life and suddenly the sphere this demon fair
shows is ugly head and were shocked i didn't know i could have so much fear in me
a good friend of mine was recently visiting me and i were sharing with him he someone were to going to talk about in bakersfield and i was sharing some of the the themes you know and he said well you know just a few weeks ago i took a drive with my girlfriend and we were parked overlooking they on the hills and san louis obispo is where he
lives and it was night time and as this said the sky was filled packed with beautiful stars was a nice clear crisp light and all of a sudden they saw a meteor
flash across the sky and said we had never seen such a large and bright one with a long tail flash across the sky and of course as we know these kind of meteor showers last what a second two seconds three seconds very briefly and he said he turned to his girlfriend and he said that's what i want to be
i want to love that way i want to burn myself out i wanna be a river of love i went to flow out of myself in love
but i'm afraid
and i said you're exactly right
that's the deepest obstacle according to scripture
it's as if someone in us knows the truth of who we really are as a river of lava poured out there is someone in knows that knows that it's like there's another person and us that doesn't know this and that's very much afraid of it
that doesn't trust in that love
i had a recent experience of a demon fair that i didn't even know was in me attacked me and i'll tell you is a rather shocking thing
i had flown back from italy and i told you about my trip to italy late this summer august and september i came back in october and the plan was to fly back to boston i'm from massachusetts and my family lives about an hour from boston and to spend about nine days with my family
yeah my mother and brothers and then come back to california well and the day i was leaving italy i had to leave early in the morning from our monastery which was quite a ways from rome where i was flying out of so i had to take one of the monks had to drive me in the morning and to make a long story short he discovered the gas was on empty courses all an italian and i'm
trying to figure and then he's trying to find a gas station at six in the morning and it's dark and it starts to rain we finally get gasp i'm going to miss my train to get to wrong so he decides to do a typical maza ratti race behind trump's in the dark over you know when they don't just look for a place to pass they ride a tandem alongside the truck
as they go along and then if a coc comes they back up but that or they pack while it was white knuckling it to the train station so that started my journey and of course we got there late but he made me rush in and the train was a little bit late i had no ticket he rushed to get tickets i got on the train to our i get off another young monk pick me up took me
a to rome drop me off and then i discover
all the baggage handlers had just walked down on strike
huge lines and the airport became chaos i was six and a half hours and the airport trying to get out and it was chaos now i'm a nervous flyer
but i've flown a lot so it's never really prevented me from flying but you know when you see all that chaos it doesn't calm your adapted you know and angry at people and everybody had to be carrying to all their luggage around because there was no baggage handlers they could not check it in so you have elderly people with foreign five bags and everybody's perspiring
and then our flight because of all the chaos they changed our gate four times
and this isn't a little airport were going all over the airport as they keep moving and getting angry and frustrating we finally they say notice as a gate you will fly from here and the plane we had could not come up to one of those boarding ramp we have to go outside we have thundershower started so they couldn't get us to the plane until the rain stopped then they ask
to carry our own bags but so when i finally got through along going down the stairs and getting to the plane there were bags that had been abandoned by people couldn't carry all their bags in like dead sofa just right and left and i'm kind of walking around this luggage trying to brag mine and then i had to go to the side of the plane and he ended up to the guy and i said next there
so i'm i'm a kind of a nervous wreck at this point i get in the plan and people are saying oh well probably have to push the plane out for them onto the tarmac then they couldn't get that machine that moves the plane out
it was chaos well i finally got the air course everybody was drinking like crazy
i was too upset to drink so i'm just kind of holding my safe for the two hour trip to london and of course i missed my connections in london but it was beautiful in london they ushered me off and of course i lost my luggage because i had no claim ticket and they said what's your plant and i said they didn't give any out to anyone
oh that's impossible i said you've got to understand it was chaos and wrong italians chaos so i missed my connection in boston the people that were picking me up so i finally arrived they you know it's seven hours from london to boston kind of white knuckling it still very anxious yet there and i only had nine days i never
really on wine on wound and relaxed at home i just kept thinking i've gotta get on another plane go to st louis change planes again st loss to san francisco
and i was spent a week trying to get my luggage i got it the day before i left
but the main point that's the background so i said goodbye to my mom originally i'm supposed to be several weeks at home i hadn't been there and two and a half a year so as as much too brave and i got to the airport in my brother and his son my nephew drop me off they stay with me till it was about twenty minutes before and then they left
i went to the gate and normally i'm usually one of the first ones in but you know after all of that i kind of prolonged it to five minutes to go and then i had an anxiety attack the first time in my life
somebody might know what that is you have a physical broke out in a cold sweat my niece felt we felt like vomiting
and this dread this horrible demon fear
and i could not get on the plane
and i remember calling my mom and she's a surprise because had never done that from the airport and telling her what had just happen
and i remember the sound of her voice was so soothing
and comforting to me
and of course i told her well they just left us an hour and ten minutes so they're going to have to come back and get me so i was there hours at the airport for them to come back and government but i had a lot of time to think what just happened and i remember the feeling i had was that i was a little boy this is this demon their came in the disguise of a little
vulnerable boy and a big bad world almost like when a child is lost in an airport or big department store you panic was that feeling when my brother and my nephew left me like i was all alone in the world and the world was this kind of chaotic place threatening pray at play
ace oftentimes in personal place and there's you know airports can be very impersonal and busy and all these people rushing around
and i i felt this threatening
fear and dread but my mother's voice was kind of like the voice of what trust i could trust her the voice of safety mother for a little child a little boy is safe to she was that safe place and i couldn't wait to get back home and of course she was great on the on the telephone you know she
didn't say why you couldn't get on the plane you had an anxiety attack come on you're a grown man my mother has three manhattan's before she gets on a plane
so i didn't have to worry i had lots of sympathy she said oh my baby
but when my brother and nephew came to get me better looking at me like i thought they want they had a straight jacket with them because they've say i always conveyed to my family someone who can handle everything you know one as the priest i'm always dealing with people's fears and calming people down and david with people who are dying and ill they had never see
seen me really overcome by fear and frightened paralyzed by fear
and they didn't know whether to talk about it and i sat in the backseat of just saw this first half hour then i think find on my nephew we had just gotten out of the army said i'm cleared his voice and said something like well how are you now from our things just something to break the ice
my point is and i remember telling that when i got home and speaking to all of them say i feel very vulnerable right now don't talk to me about getting on another plane it brings back the nossa
don't talk to me about going for medication and getting on another plane i first have to understand what just happened i said i feel very vulnerable i feel like a little boy
i feel like i don't want to leave my mother and that never left me for months
i thought well you know all you know when i didn't fly back that's another story how i got back
it was not easy
the airline industry has your around their finger you know you don't fly in the options are alto was not easy tornadoes i mean you name it after a while i said it would have been safer fla than the way i came home
so this fear was a stranger to me i mean here i thought i had been working through fears all my life and i knew i had some minor fears i'd been working on my fear of death for years and i thought i'd been confronting that and here it was like this little child and me that i didn't know this fearful
petrified vulnerable little boy was still in me
miss trusting
the pilots and that silver bird so heavy how can it fly
miss trusting
the world
and under the illusion that his mother could protect him from anything that might hurt him
protect him from suffering protect him from even death in other words protect him from life and that's an illusion isn't it we might allow that illusion for a little boy but i'm an adult
i can't even protect my mother from suffering and dying how are seeking to protect me
even god does not protect us from life
with all it's insecurity and all its pain and all its suffering and death
jesus wasn't protected from life
he was love
he was a love poured out
as he lived through the insecurities and pains and sufferings and deaths of life and transform them
by trusting in this love that he was
to trust a love that i cannot see or always feel that does not protect me from life does not protect my loved ones does not live up to my expectations that i cannot prove and that much of my own human experience might even com
to trust that love is indeed very risky isn't it
is very difficult thing to do over and over again as we are inflicted with war what in securities and unknowns and tragedies in life
i'm beginning to think it's the hardest thing in the world or is it's the hardest thing in life that we have to do it's our one and only vocation to trust enough so that god's love can become all we are and cast out or
love is perfect enough it is perfect in oz rather when we become love
and when we become love we become jesus
like paul then we can say it is now not i who live
but christ who lives in me
our fear and there's really only one fundamental fear that spawns the thousands of other little spheres that we have and that's the fear of not being loved and i don't mean
i'm getting some kind of human affection i mean the way god loves which is being to exist god when god loves you have creations you have something that is that's all great fear that's why we fair that we will not be loved into wife we will not be we will cease to exist
we will not be long that's the fundamental fear
and spawns many many hundreds of other fears
and that beer gives rise to something else that we have to confront in our life and that's our life of illusion news illusions are the primary weapon or tool or defense of fear
sounds like a fire putting would on a fire the wayfair keeps growing in our life and the way they are insulate against the pain of reality i read a book on anxiety attacks of course after i had an ex this experience and the first thing the books sent is unless you work on this right away it will creep into on
all areas of your life
it's unfair bills on itself like a fire
and it'll create all these illusions and of course the one of the big illusions of anxiety attacks is all you keep thinking about us what could happen not what might happen you don't think of probabilities you think of possibilities well anything is a possibility and they talked about people who have heart surgery and have my anxiety attacks after because now they think at any moment they're hot
it could stop imagine living with that bear
at least i can avoid a plane or an airport but how do you avoid your heart that the chan so it's a constant panic and ready for a panic attack all the time and it keeps spreading and spreading
these illusions are very powerful and all pervasive and they they are they they use the idea of false identity
creating the many masks that we were for various situations and that we hide behind
in the desert the demon of fear we heard in jesus has experience in the desert the demon a fair conjures up all kinds of illusions to tempt jesus and to abdicating when we really is
but david even quote scripture to him if you remember the story
ha that suggests we often come to religion with our fears and we sink illusions and religion we seek safety protection from life
much of religion can be simply part of our system of illusions feeding are fair and protecting us from going deeper into the truth of who we are a river of love
we heard on sunday the first reading the sacrifice of isaac by or the almost sacrifice of isaac by abraham that story is simply about this it's a test abraham is being tested to see how far he's willing to trust
and who or what is in willing to trust and how much does he fear and how pervasive are his illusions
does he trust in god when we cannot see
who he cannot prove to others whom he cannot control who he cannot fully understand or will he trust and isaac his own flesh and blood something concrete he can hold in his hands
something concrete in this world that he can see and touch and embrace and control and understand something made in his image and likeness in some way an extension of his own ego
that's what the story is about

great little book on the desert fathers and that the beginning of this chapter
the rider quotes a story a true story of one of the desert fathers on this very point but said in a different way oppa lot went to say about joseph and said to him about as much as i'm able i practice a small role of life a little fast
listing some prayer and meditation i remain quiet and as much as possible i keep my thoughts clean what else should i do it was living a religious line
and then the old man stood up and stretched as hands toward heaven and his fingers became like ten torches of lame and he said to the other one if you wish you could become all lane
one way of religion and another way of religion but true way of religion is what to be consumed to become all flame not to practice a little of this a little of this isn't this nice he felt sorta safe and his little rule of life well i'm covering all the base is just say not too far in any one area alone
of this and a lot of us do that don't we
but we're really afraid of being all fire or that total river of love if you wish you could become all flame we resist becoming the love that we are because we're afraid to let go of our world of illusions a world we think we hold for
firmly in our grasp as the saying goes one bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush
maybe the to in the bush represent the burning bush
that moses encountered
it always feels safer what you get in your hand no matter how many things you'll tell me what if i let go and have this but i don't have that
and just see we don't we never have gotten our hand we'd never possess god
to let go is to trust in what is not in my hand
not even gone
a number of years ago when i visited the monastery the trappist monastery and gets seventy after their vigils in the middle of the night which ended at three thirty i went to my room and all was really quiet and i lit a candle i was sitting there with my journal looking at the candle and i suddenly realize like summarizing all of my life i said all my life
i've been a long drawn to the flame
and i just dance around it
i want to get close enough for some line and for some warmth but i'm very careful not to let my wings get singed not to get pulled into the flame and yet someone in me wants to enter that flame and another one and me is very frightened so they bargain class a lot but not too close
them warm enough but not too hot
we all use religion to get enough light enough warmth without burning without being consumed without being transformed into love we want to meal out on our own terms and we fair bit
coming love on loves on terms which has god's own terms
and are illusions are so real to us more real than reality itself
all that is not god's river of love in us is unreal his passing is an illusion
but it is so strong that for all of us a lot of the time it is more real than god's river of lava knows and that's the great paradox and tragedy
for human beings illusion is more real to us than reality
we fare both the cross and wayfair the resurrection believe it or not
one rider says perhaps jesus as greatest act of courage and trust was accepting the resurrection a total new way of life that you don't create yourself
you see the fear of the unknown as great as that isn't us is not as great i mean i'm sorry the fear of loss of what we do have as great as that is not as great as the fear of the unknown and the resurrection represents an unknown why an unknown way of living
and that his resurrection life this way overblown
there comes a moment in our lives when we must face with every cell in our body every thought and our mind everything we ever thought we understood as real
a time in our life and we have to confront all of that and face though only one reality the buying low
to face this love and become this love requires abandonment sacrifice adoration transfiguration
light st francis and the story of st francis when he awakens to this deeper truth
and goes to the public school square with his father and his family there and all the townspeople and the bishop there and takes up all those clothing strips naked
going off into the unknown
loves glory is not a small bay
i must learn how to throw myself over and over again into the fire of love
remember jesus as other words and the gospel i have come to cast a fire upon the or and oh how i wish it were already blazing
he means the fire blog that what will consume everything and all that will be as love

you know we are not fundamentally fallen creatures we are fundamentally summoned people called by god each moment of every day to be whom we really are in and with jesus to be love poured out in total and absolute trust
the of our weaknesses and are illusions and our affairs and our lack of trust
we need to take comfort that we are relentlessly and ingeniously loved by god
it is only with jesus and then listening to him that we can do this that we can move through our illusions and our fears and discover and live and become who we really are
that's gonna be the talk tomorrow
listening to jesus and with jesus
a few suggestions for homework
name your demons of fear
remember that one exorcism story and mark where jesus says what is your name the demons says we are legion many
it's important to name our fears part of the power of fair over us as wanted to disguise staying in the shadows yet manipulating us influencing our choices
and producing these illusions as faults reality so it's important we try to base our fears and name them and enter into dialogue with them who are you
why are so strong in my lap as i've been dialoguing with that little boy john and paul who are you and journaling
trying to and talking to my mother
so name your demons make a list your demons of fear than asked jesus to catch them out and to help you let them go many times it's not that jesus doesn't want to cast them out we don't want to let them go and they don't want to let us go kind of on claw whole some part of as holds onto them and
i'm part of them holds onto was that might be a good assignment if you can name your fears
a second like being in what areas of your life is your trust the weakest
you might find are areas where it doesn't even exist there's no trust there but one of the areas of your life where your trust as weakness were maybe your trust is the most tested
and it's most difficult for you to keep on trusting
it's also be the to suggestions i would have let us now sit in silence

and he led them up a high mountain
it was transfigured before their eyes and his clothes became dazzling white wider than the work of any bleacher could make them
liga appeared to them along with moses the to were in conversation with jesus then peter spoke to jesus rabbi how good it is for us to be here let us erect free booze on this site one for you one for moses and one for elijah
he hardly knew what to say where they were all overcome with all
the cloud came and overshadowed them and out of a cloud of voice this is my son my beloved listen to him
suddenly looking around they no longer saw anyone with them only jesus
an open your eyes now not open
republican and as we begin this morning
i'd like you to close your eyes again the best of luck them foes
and maybe you spent some time thinking about fears in your life
that's why don't you stand maybe this will be going to do standing to with your eyes closed and i want you to
think about a fear in your life
and as you think about that here i want you to clench both this very very tight
almost most symbolizing the the are usually fear kind of rips us or we are gripped by it so clench your fists very very as tight as you can punch them as you think about that fear
as you picture that fear as you imagine that fear as you feel that fear perhaps
and in your own heart asked jesus to take that fear away
and to help you let go of that year
when you're ready when you say the several times in your own heart
to open your unclenched this in an open palm
you might want to do that more than once maybe several fears come to mind so we're just kind of a few moments of silence for you youtube
embody the fear by clenching your fists
jesus to take it away to help you let go
and to symbolize it by opening
your palms facing upward and the gesture of surrender and letting go
do that for as many times as you need to do that

she's on summer ah take my the
take my view
give me the
she son he's now with someone

this week
hey can be seated thank you for joining me in that little exercise
there is no copyright on any of these little things i have you do feel free to borrow them use them in your own life this can be very helpful embodiment and not sometimes we can kind of and an abstract way think about
here but to actually see what the sphere due to the body be tense up it's tightened her grip or ijaw should actually embody it and then to embody the opposite what you wanted to let go to open up to release to surrender so that's something and nandy five minutes before an actor and encourage you to do that in your life to do
that kind of quiet sitting meditation using breath and using a mantra of some type that you can chant out loud or internally to yourself or you could just say the name jesus encourage you to do that in your life and so we arrive at the last talk
in title awakening to glory listening to jesus
and the transfiguration scene comes to a conclusion with the voice saying to the three disciples this is my beloved listened to him
and so what i'm suggesting in this last talk is perhaps the way we we can cut through the illusions created by our fears in order to protect us from reality
maybe a way of cutting through that is through listening to jesus
and you know listening is central to the bible because the bible the semitic peoples as a whole understood god more often than not to be a god who speaks reality we know that from the very creation story that will see in gen
isas it begins with gods said and god said and that's repeated however many times if you remember the story god said let there be light em while up there was like let there be darkness and there was darkness let there be land left to be watered let the water separate from the land and so on so on so forth and so that very much reflects the semitic i
created through speaking now it doesn't mean human language that he spoke hebrew that's what the deuce spoke as i would god spoke what it means is a deeper sense of speaking
when the juice understood god speaking reality creating through speaking what they meant is god speaks god's self
that when god speaks it's a self appearance
and therefore what humans know to be language is somehow endeavor derivation of that that all speeches somehow devore derivation and trouble with backward this morning of this fundamental way of speaking which is the god god's way of speaking which is to utter one sell that's why we
say jesus is the word of god we don't mean language hebrew english italian we don't mean that what do we mean he is the self utterance of god god others god's self it's something like this river pouring out right speech kind of pours out this gods inner nature poor's it
self out that's this the semitic sense and so a god creates by pouring god's self out by speaking uttering god's self
then everything that god creates is a word of god
that must be listened to if we are to truly know that thing as well as it's source it's creator
even the human person the word person comes from the latin pounds sanada to sound rude
so human be in particular of all of creation a human being because of where we are in evolution and our consciousness a human being is meant to be a personality to sound through the south utterance of god every human being is a word of god is
an utterance of god that's our vocation to realize that and to be a true word to be god's true self utterance by a life of what integrity a life of unity
a life of true by being who we really are
a river of blood flowing out building up to new life
and so if god's beach reality than for the semitic people it's terribly important the first order of the day as people have to learn how to listen otherwise they cannot know the really real from the jewish point of view
and to not know the really real is to live an absurd life and the english word absurd comes from the latin sword us which means death
so your life is absurd when you are not listening when you are death to what god is offering
in life as like as you as your neighbor
god speaks god's presence
and if i want to find god and life and god is ultimate reality god is the really real god is the only last in reality i have to learn how to listen to this way that god speaks
and we know this is a theme throughout the whole old testament and new testament
abraham and sarah begin their journey into an unknown land
because of what i'm listening something they heard this whisper deep in their heart speaking a promise as i said you're actually giving rise to a hope which they trusted
the exit of story is all about listening isn't it
god's listening to the cries and sufferings of his people
moses listening to god whom he doesn't want to really send someone else i can't speak
but then it's also about barrow not listening to moses not listening to god and as they wander into the desert it's about moses
not listening to god memory doesn't enter the promised land because of not listening and the hebrew people all of those who left according to the story egypt never entered the promised land it was all their descendants the first generation born in the desert enter the rest all die off because they didn't listen
the biblical work for listening is obedience that's our english word again from the latin of oh dearie to listen obedience is listening is a listening life and disobedience is absurd life it's des
weakness it's not listening
and so we see these tooth and it's themes interweaving throughout all the bible obedience disobedience obedience disappear to be it seems like the jewish people in any consistent way can't keep listening
they lose their concentration they can't keep focusing
this prompted the psalmist to write rise sleeper weight from the dead
your salvation is near at hand this disobedience this deafness to life is like sleepwalking
you think
you're living reality but you're really asleep know it's kind of like you ever wondered is my dream reality and when i wake up i'm dreaming or is it the other way around
was i dreaming and now i'm awake or was i awakened know i'm dreaming
another psalm psalm ninety five says if today you hear his voice harden not your hearts don't be death if today you hear his voice the author the hebrews picks that up and saying says every day is today as
every day is today
and that means god speaks every day and we are challenged every day to listen to god speaking reality god speaking life god speaking my own existence god speaking my own truth of who i really am
there's another line and the psalms famous line deep calls on too deep
god speaks at the deaths of life god speaks at the level of the hot god speaks to the heart
and we must learn to listen deeply from the depths
a deep listening life cut through the illusions and here is the fears and eventually might find the center like the center of the labyrinth some of you may have won
the truth of who we really are is always seeking to break through into our awareness if we know how to listen
to discover and live the really real and union with god we must be deep listeners
and this is all that's meant by the word contemplation that's in the literature today we hear it will mean different things were really a contemplative life is a deep listening life so when people say the contemplative dimension of the bible or the new testament to the christian life that's all they mean
a deep listening life
st benedict in the spanish rule begins the whole rule with the words listen
and he ends the rule with the word listen
but as i say the ancient jews found it difficult to really listen when we hear their stories and some way it's like a mirror reflecting us to ourselves and not the point accusing fingers at them all those crazy to his wife couldn't they listen they they should have trusted in the desert well that's easy for us to say
every one of us
probably ten times a day goes back to egypt to the familiar the fleshpots to the safe because the deficit is a very uncomfortable mysterious place where you have to rely totally on god
jesus is presented in the new testament almost in contrast to his predecessors is jewish people as the epitome of a listening jew the epitome of a listening person
he is the obedient one
and jesus teaches and parables we here in the new testament because parables require deep listening
and life itself your life and my life is a parable
a paradox
and the only way i will find into that paradox
is through a deep listening life
and as we've already said in these talks at his baptism jesus had a major listening event didn't he was a major event in his life he heard god speak to him telling him who he was that he was the beloved that he was this river of love and he became
it came that low
and he didn't hear it second hand he didn't read it in a book
he heard it directly spoken to him
and this what he heard what guide his life we've said and guide his mission
would become his very identity
all because jesus heard listen and believe
he listened interest and he trusted who he heard
the one who spoke to him
and it would continue to trust this voice
listening to it in the face of many voices which sought to convince him otherwise both within his own head within his own mind we have many voices but also voices around him that kept trying to talk him out of being faithful to his mission
in the gospels jesus tells us that he has not come to do his own will what does that mean to hear his own voice and follow his own voice he's not come to do that he's come to do the will of another we all talk about god's well what are we talking about god's voice god
god's word he has come to hear one word and to do that word
in the hebrew sense of things to here to truly here is to do
god's word is always a bird it's interesting that in the hebrew language the burbs received the sentence or the beginning of the sentence and now are seen a sort of static realities
verbs are action berms create life
and god only speaks verbs for the hebrew people god's word the hebrew word for that as da bar and it's a suburb got only speaks verbs now that we might so that's terrible syntax is some nouns and adjectives god speaks creation speaks like it's always a dynamic reality
and that's mary has that sense of it we here in luke's gospel when she says may your may it be done to me according to your word a word god's word is done to you really is probably not correct to say we do god's work it has done to me but i have to what
say yes i have to surrender we say that's mary's sphere right her yes may it be done to me according to your word and so modern people think while i'll listen to something then i'll decide what to do about it the that would be a false experience with the semitic people when the word is not done in your life and through
your life you haven't heard it yet
that's the sign
that's why for the desert fathers they felt you couldn't interpret scripture until you do the scripture then you'll know what it means
until it is done in your line that's why there's a story of one desert abba who went to his his master and he asked for a word of life sometimes they would quote scripture or paraphrase will give a teaching from their learning long experience this alpha gave him one word he didn't see him for five years
he finally comes back as well
you're certainly tuck your sweet time why didn't you come back for another word and says it has taken me five years
to let this would be done in me i think i'm ready for another word
that's very semitic you see that's a very semitic semitic sense of word
so when we say to listen
this deep listening to that one word that god speaks to us it's that weren't being done and us and this is the one word god speaks
this is really the only word god speaks
and jesus and the agony in the garden again sticking with mark's gospel
they went to a place called guess seventy sit down here while i pray he said to his disciples at the same time he took along with him peter james and john
we know who those three i don't win transfiguration store it then he began to be filled with fear and distress and he said to them my heart is filled with sorrow to the point of death remain here and stay awake
and the advanced a little and fell to the ground praying that if it were possible this our might pass him by he kept saying about you have the power to do all things take this cup from me
but let it not be as i would have it let it not be me following my own word my own will but as you would have it
when he returned he found them asleep
could you not stay awake even an hour
beyond guard and pray that you may not be put to the test
the spirit is willing but nature is weak and we know the story goes on and they're still sleeping there we see an example of jesus to struggling and the story is time to show he's fully human you know he's not a god pretended to be human he's not superman impervious to the realities of
life he embraces them all and jesus as he's trying to be faithful to this truth of who he is as a river blob still at the struggle with human feelings and even fear but the point is he doesn't follow that there and he's not paralyzed by the fear it mentions that to gotta talk to god about it he feels that he prays it
when he still says but not let me not follow the word of fear
and he tells his disciples stay away
to follow fear is to sleep and we know what they'll all do won't they they will all abandoned him they will all follow the word of fear
once jesus is arrested
there still asleep they still haven't awakened to the truth of who they really are and who jesus really is
the transfiguration story repeats the words spoken that jesus jesus' baptism the words he heard deepened as hard and trusted
and then we are told to listen to jesus
but it seems to me we listened best to jesus when we listen with jesus
to what he heard and trusted
at each one of us needs to hear and trust what jesus bird and trusted and at some point in my life i need to hear at first hand not just second hand of third but like jesus i need to hear that word of god spoken in the depths of my heart and not just once but i need to remember that work and keep going
back like going to a well and dropping the bucket and drawing up water each time to refresh me to remind me to revive me from my sleeping illusions my sleep walking who am i now whoever we need to keep reminding ourselves
that's why memory remembrance has a privileged place doesn't it in scripture
without memory you can't learn anything from the past your own past nor the past of your ancestors memory is so important and memory as an aspect of listening it's one of the ways that we listen to our lives listen to the witness and the wisdom and the discoveries of other people
it's the way we listened to god by remembering how god has already spoken in our life
jesus wants us to enter into his baptismal experience we set on the first day to enter into his life into his consciousness his spirit his identity as a river of love he wants us to enter into his listening spirit
and to hear his deepest truth which is our deepest truth
thanks to him and the giving of his life for us
you know i had a powerful experience when i was around fourteen years old even though have been raised
roman catholic i pretty much didn't know god not first hand anyway i knew about god through catechism the nuns teaching in religion etc but i hadn't really had a what you might want to call us direct encounter at least not one that i was aware one that would kind of make the hair stand on nothing of the back view
net going on so i knew information about god but god wasn't a personal reality i just new information that i could spit back on a test
and this one time i was going to saturday afternoon confession and my mom i was around fourteen my mom drop me off she was going to go to a shop and she says i'll be back in such and such a time and i came in and it wasn't a slow saturday nobody else was there was one priests in the confessional the green light was on
which says go even into the confessional and i did the normal thing that i've done hundreds of times having been through catholic grade school which is you want first kneel down and you examine your conscience you get the list together the laundry list so i got the laundry list and as i'm getting together i was a were sort of feeling frustrated and general i was flustered
sinfulness in the sense that i had reached an age where i was kind of getting caught by the ideal of perfectionism you know i'm thinking well i need to kind of overcome these sins i found that some of them were so ingrained in me i couldn't change i couldn't overcome them i kept tripping over the same kinds of things and i was feeling sort of
frustrated and sort of powerless about it you know and i noticed that my confessions will almost always the same the same list who nothing exciting and the same pattern ingrained habits so i was aware of that as i'm putting this together
and then i went to the confessional said the sins i don't remember to the state what the said to me it gave me my pendants and i came out knelt down and the dark church and started to say my penance and thinking about this other stuff that i told you know that g as the same old stuff i don't know why can't changed
god and saying dependents and then i suddenly had this awareness that i was not alone
i'm nearly with my eyes closed but i just had the sense of someone was there
and it intensify and deepened that there was somebody there but i didn't open my eyes i didn't see anything just feeling like somebody was right there with me on the nila
and i started to have this intuition that oh
since or something about a relationship they're not about breaking rules and commandments so much as they affect a relationship
and then i've heard this voice deep within me that didn't seem like my voice like a whisper saying
you're right
this is about relationship and i've always been here in your life
i've always loved you and i always will
i remember just closing my eyes tight as i'm hearing this voice and feeling this presence and then i started weeping the first time in my life we bid because i realized my sins were affecting a relationship with this presence that was speaking a wonderful message to me that he's always been
they're in my life has always loved me and always will in spite of my habitual since and so i started weeping say oh i'm sorry i'm sorry where have you been how come i haven't noticed you and the voice kept reassuring me it's okay it's okay i've always been here i've always loved you and i always will
ill well i felt worse because then i realized that really maybe there's only one true sin and life and that's not to realize who's in your life not to realize who's they're loving you every minute of your life
that's like you know turning your back and not realizing there's someone there walking besides you behind you all the time you never turn around like finally i was turning around basing this presents and i realized i was so worried about these habitual sins and i was mistaken the most important than i was sleepwalking i was blind
for all my religious education i still was not aware of this loving presence in my life
and i felt terrible i said i don't want to ever do that i don't want ever turn my back on you again what i want to keep you before my eyes all the time i don't want to ever forget you
and it was just silence
then finally the voice said well then i felt like i was being embraced again my eyes are closed on kneeling down with my hands
together like this and i felt that somebody was embracing me and that i was being lifted up off the kneeler
and i felt of course a little fear there and the boy said stop
being afraid
stop trying to stand on your own two feet and trust me
when i next opened my eyes an hour and a half had gone by
when i came out of the church you can imagine my irate mother
how many since you have any way
i got in the passenger side we start driving this the parish was what seven or eight and drive away from home not far away and she says what's wrong and i said what do you mean
you seem different
i never told anyone
too many many years later till i was a priest
i think the first time i told was a public audience i never revealed what turned my life around
oh don't think i had no fears you heard about some of my fears yesterday none of them but this was a breakthrough moment i heard directly that i was loved and i had been a poor student i'd fail the seventh grade and have repeated it this was an eighth grade that i had this experience and i became the top of the class suddenly i
i had all this confidence because i was love
and i began thinking about how can i keep this presence before me all the time
well i said i guess it's see the be a nun or a priest i didn't know how do you do that i want to think about god i want to
pray all the time and i knew i couldn't be a nun so that left the priests
but over my life i've had to keep going back to that experienced like dropping the bucket and the well to try to remind myself or these many selves in my head that tell me the opposite message know you will be love if you're nice
if you're accepted if you're popular
if you join this club if you get straight a's in school if you don't bother your parents and upset them
if you play it safe
in all those but voices and messages that tell you that
and then other voices that saying
people don't like you
why did you have more friends
you're only a b student
see all the other negative voices
i would have to keep going and i still to this day i go back to this experience in this like i say lot i heard it then it did make a lot of change in my life but it didn't pull me out of my own humanity and my own human experiences i still have all these experiences and these voices but i have a place to go and i go back to that an uproar
that's reinforced through what scripture tells us this
so it's reinforced through scripture but i have to go back as jesus went back to his baptismal experience throughout his life and it's like i have to do battle with these other voice and say hey wait a minute
what is the voice of truth in my life
and how can i believe it more completely and more deeply
i believe god is speaking that same word to every single person but how we're going to hear it directly varies with each one of us
don't come up to me later it said oh you are lucky
i'm seventy two and i'm still waiting and you had it at fourteen you must be special don't say that do i believe gotta speaking at all the time
to every person and how it will break through
it's going to be different for each one of us but it doesn't make any person better or have an advantage over the next person
and for a lot of people that truth that word that one word that we are that's trying to break through into our consciousness and get us to listen for many people that happens during a crisis doesn't it when all your systems are not working your ordinary system of coping and illusions
starts to fall apart
and you hit rock bottom as they say and a you hit bottom
and then you're a bit more open to listen for many of us it's a crisis and maybe a crisis of help
and we here in a way like we've never heard before our own or maybe somebody else's crisis that very intimately touches us
what isn't it a shame that we have to wait or sick a crisis in order to hear this truth there must be a way of deepening are listening ability to like are listening ability to god
but this listening as i've said this listening with jesus requires depth and death is something i think we must cultivate remember the parable of the sower and the see who goes out scattering the seat and some falls on the the path
some falls
among the rocks rocky soil some falls amid thorns and some falls on good see a good soil and that's the
the seed that has a chance to what go deep and take root and grow up and produce fruit deep listening requires the cultivation of deep soil
until i cultivate that depth in my life god's word gods seed has no chance in my life
the state listening is simply the contemplative life the contemplative dimension to life
and how is that deep soil of listening cultivated while the tradition is overwhelming and saying several things silence
it's no accident you know that jesus spent thirty years before appearing in public to preach the word he heard
thirty years of cultivating thirty years of living a quiet rural like thirty years of time
thirty years of vacancy for god thirty years of attentiveness and receptivity
haven't you ever wondered about that how much more jesus could have done
if he hadn't been a late bloomer
if he were your son today
what would you think if he was thirty and still living at home
he wouldn't fit what he what are you waiting for don't just sit there do something

you know most of us use words
most of the time to avoid silence and to remain on the surface of life
before word has time and space to penetrate deeply into our hearts where we can listen to a deeply and let it be done in our life we quickly follow it with another word
and another speaking with rapid fire and none of those words have a chance to find deep soil on us
and even our prayers are that way
both in private and together in church
at the hermitage when guests come there and join us for prayer we and they are both struck by how fast they speak and how slow we speak
the monk comes out who is presiding you may save lord be with you and also with you
it always kind of shocks the monks to think people really speak that fast and course there's a five second delay and then the monks site and also with you
so the guests think we're all on thorazine
and course we think they're all on speed it makes a wonderful eucharist you know the thorazine people and the spain people to
that's really funny so now we have to renounce something to the speed people first of all that they shouldn't feel sorry for us that we're all on thorazine and secondly that they should try to slow down and will be patient with their speed
your see words come from silence and words return to silence silence teach us as the place where words come from and where they go
and you know you don't create silence silence is always there throughout our lives as the background of our life as the background of our words
but what i'm saying words i'm not just speaking of language emma
our life is a word so the silence is the background to all our activities to all our doings to our very lives
but just as we use words to avoid the silence and to stand the surface of life
by using many of them and very fast so too
do we live the word that is our life
we live busy crowded lives with no space in between the words and between the sentences in between the paragraphs in between the pages and chapters
we have bought the lie
and it's particularly a modern lie that the whole life is the busy life
crammed in with as much as possible
we are literally fast food in our way through life
and we feared death because it will be the end of all these activities in these experiences
we cannot be deep listeners with jesus to the truth of who we are and what life really is about if our lives are completely crowded such a life is always saying there is no room at the end that's what our lives are saying there's no room
the end to receive the stranger
and i'll tell you the one truth that god speaks is a stranger to us and there's never any room in our in
we crowd out the real god we crowd out real by we crowd out our real selves by a life that we have fabricating out of fear
and the stronger the fear that fast to the pace of life
and it shows you how modern western people are desperately afraid
because we keep increasing the pace we're running away from something
even the multiple good things we do is still the same addiction it's just more clever it's more palatable that's more acceptable because it's good things
our lives have become like shopping malls absolutely packed and each item crying out for our attention when i go to shopping mall now which is rarely i get headaches all the time because it's like everyone there and every item is trying out saying look at me
look at me come closer look at me by me you need me take me home with you
well that's gonna give you a headache imagine that's thousands and thousands of voices screaming at you not so i get headaches all the time
people come on retreat to the hermitage
ah father yes oh what are we supposed to do all day
you see life is doing we have equated we bought the lie life is doing life is this fast pace of doing and again we speak the way we live there's no space in between the words and sentences and paragraphs listen to the way you people pray the lord's prayer
or the creed on sunday i heard every mass you can't deny it i had no time to grieve
you guys were excellent you left me in the dust i felt like the turtle in the race with the hair
and if you pay attention to that often enough and all the parishes do it you realize what is this all about there's no space for the silence to get through what's going on and then when you realize well that's how they're living their lives than that becomes how we speak is just a what a manifestation of how we're living
and then where we belong to a tradition that talks about the word sinking deep roots well how can a word have a chance
how can our lives have a chance
we create a life of doing and we identify with doing and we have forgotten just how to be so when i tell people that every retreat they look at me like i'm an idiot
would you want to be a leaf of lettuce would have mean be
yes i know doing is certainly a of what it means to be a human being but it's not the first than the last part is it when you're born you're not doing you just are and everybody's doing things for you and when you dies the same thing well maybe the truth is in the beginning and them again
and all in the middle is a lot of illusion
now when are doing is an expression of our being
when our words express the silence and reverence the silence and even reveal the silenced by spaces in between