Try to visualise the inner room of your heart. How often do you visit it? Keep it nourished? How often do you come home to yourself? It is the centre of our energy, motivation, imagination and compassion. Now is the opportunity to explore it. What needs to die within you at this time in your life – and what needs to grow? Is there something you need to know, the voice within you that you need to hear, to find courage for the next step? If we want to make a move from the cul-de-sac of our lives, we need to develop stillness (more than silence); to make space for the shadow to emerge from our depths. We need to learn to draw from the deep well within us – not from sources of information and direction from outside.
When we are in search of the abundant life, in search of the hidden self, the conversion has already happened. We are searching for what we have already received. This is the big secret. The well is already within us. We must remember that – and work and wait for it to nourish us. Be BIG and courageous– the only limits we have are those we place around ourselves!
To truly be yourself, begin to trust your own authentic, inner authority, your depths, your gifts. Do you nourish them? Will you die with your music still in you? What happens when you do not let your True Self, your Soul, shine out. It is about coming home to yourself.
Do not remain ignorant of your birthright – those who do not know WHO they are and WHOSE they are, such people have the power – they attract rather than promote or force. Only transformed people transform others. Bernard Lonergan once wrote, ‘Conversion is the experience of becoming an authentic human being.’ ‘Human beings attract other human beings to the deep levels of self-awareness just by being fully alive (Iraneus.)’
To be true to yourself, your divine image, your divine seed, your divine dream, that’s all we are asked to do. That is worship of God. That is what creation, incarnation, redemption, the church, the Mass, the sacraments, contemplation are for – not to earn, merit, deserve or compete for – but to recognise and realise your inner power. ‘We are already the children of God; and when the future is revealed we shall be just like him.’ (1 John3:2)
We confuse religious observance/behaviour/rites with the raw, painful conversion of our souls – the dying, the giving up, the giving in, the surrender, the letting go. Religious observance V inner conversion. The death of the ego – would we rather be known for being religious than for being human? In the Gospels we can see the attitude of Jesus to the hypocrites! We are kept small by seeking the answers to small questions – ‘Sell all your cleverness,’ wrote Rumi, ‘and buy bewilderment.’ This means setting your sights high. ‘I can do all things in him who strengthens me.’ Philippians 4:13 Teilhard de Chardin expressed this desire beautifully, ‘Lord Jesus, compel us to discard our pettiness and to venture forth, resting upon you, into the uncharted ocean of love.’
The grace of Presence. The sacrament of conversation. The divinity of the senses. The power of the present. We believe in God; do we believe in Incarnation – and its implications? Everything happens in the energy-field of grace: do we truly believe that our daily essence and actions, our very DNA, are the physical manifestation and presence of the Being and mystery we call God? ‘God you were here all along and I never knew it’ (Gen 28,16)
Notice your breathing YHVH (Yahweh): – the unspeakable but breathable name for God! (Try the prayer of breathing the Hebrew name for God – in-breath YAH; out-breath WEH – repeat several times.).
The baby will die if it does not breathe when it is born – it begIns life gasping for God. We die when our last breath leaves us: the one thing we do all through our lives. Everyone does it – no practice or lessons required, no Islamic, Jewish or Christian way of breathing ; no English, African or Asian way of breathing (no need to learn it before travelling); no holy or secular way of doing it. The playing field is utterly level. The Spirit blows where she wills (Jn3,8). God is accessible and available everywhere and for free – JC and water-tap; the control of institutions; mystics and contemplatives and lovers – ‘Oh how wondrous! I hew wood, I draw water, I breathe.’ The move from seeing God as a person on the outside to one’s precious, inner, intimate presence. Free as the wind is God – and will not be constrained.
(Daniel’s notes from a retreat)