About This Weeks' Prompts for Personal Meditation But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.' Luke 10:33-35
Imagine waking up from a trauma and finding your bosom enemy alone caring for you at your bedside, having scraped you up off the road and paid your hospital bills. Jesus crafted a story to shock the boundaries of relationship. The relentless reversals of the Good News shatter boundary, status quo, any comfort upon which a wearied soul might like to settle down.
Who is my neighbor (meditation one) and who is my family? Who is my friend and to whom and what am I called to be friend (meditation two)? As boundaries shatter, neighbor, family, enemy, the Divine, draw close (meditation three.)
Happy boundary shattering. -Suzanne
Meditation One Who is my neighbor?
I had the most extraordinary experience of love of neighbor with a Hindu family. A gentleman came to our house and said: "Mother Teresa, there is a family who have not eaten for so long. Do something." So I took some rice and went there immediately. And I saw the children - their eyes shining with hunger. I don't know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very often. And the mother of the family took the rice I gave her and went out. When she came back, I asked her: "Where did you go? What did you do?" And she gave me a very simple answer: "They are hungry also." What struck me was that she knew - and who are they? A Muslim family - and she knew. ... -Mother Teresa of Calcutta 1910-1997
Who is my family?
While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother."
O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
O God, scatterer of ignorance and darkness, grant me your strength. May all beings regard me with the eye of a friend, and I all beings! With the eye of a friend may each single being regard all others!
-Yojht Veda, XXXVI,18 quoted from Life Prayers, ed. Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive, unless it seeks to overthrow and to ruin the pyramids of callousness, hatred, opportunism, falsehoods. -Abraham Joshua Heschel 1907-1972
Meditation Three ...is very near to you
Suppose we were to...draw the outline of a circle.... Let us suppose that this circle is the world, and that God is the center; the straight lines drawn from the circumference are the lives of people....The closer those lines are to God, the closer they become to one another; and the closer they are to one another, the closer they become to God. -Dorotheos of Gaza 505-565
The Last Word
Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smaller right and doing it all for love. -St. Thérèse of Lisieux 1873-1897