Mar 092012

from Lenten meditations

Oh you who live the religious life,
if you persevere a time may come
when you finally realize
that all your performance of ritual,
all your prayer and meditation,
all your sacrifices and alms,
all your fasting and service,
have not of themselves
washed away your sinfulness,
made you a better person,
or endeared you more to God.
You will see that none of it
has brought more healing
to your wounded heart
or light to your searching mind,
let alone to the world around you.

If you do not fight or flee this realization,
you may yet come to see
why it is that others before you
have continued in these ways,
as if poets writing poems soon forgotten,
dancers dancing when no one else watches,
or whistlers whistling without thought.
Perhaps then will you begin to know
the true depths of cleansing,
virtue, endearment, healing, and illumination
that were there all along,
already flowing in and through you
and all the world.

  4 Responses to “the religious life”

  1. Very insightful, Chuck! I’ve been reading some of Spinoza’s work lately. I like this quote from him:
    “Blessedness is not the reward of virtue, but virtue itself; neither do we rejoice therein because we control our lusts, but contrariwise, because we rejoice therein, we are able to control our lusts. – From Ethics by Baruch de Spinoza.

    God’s Peace.

  2. Thanks, Steve. I’ve always liked Spinoza. His panentheism is one of the most influential forms of Western non-dualism. In many ways he was, and still is, ahead of the times.


  3. I truely thank God for joining this sight. Plz i have a seriouse question i desire u answer.
    What is meditation, how can it open ur ability to see spiritually and be endowed wih power. Tanx

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