Published on Kung Kao Po, Chinese Catholic Weekly, on 2nd August, 2020
Some meditators come to join meditation groups, expecting to learn some relaxation skills in order to relieve certain stress in their lives. When we focus on our mantra, these results are indeed being brought about; however, does it end at such a stage?
Meditation opens up our inner being entirely to the Holy Spirit dwelling in our heart. Being a deep prayer, meditation enables us keep up with our connection with the precious tradition from the Desert Fathers and Mothers whose focus was in God. Hence for this church tradition once lost, can then be carried on and be known to our future generations, revealing God’s glory.
The late Father Sean Burke MM, the founder Spiritual Advisor of the Hong Kong meditation community, incisively pointed out that the greatest benefit derived from meditation is to let us taste God’s unreserved love for us. As quoted by Fr. Sean, God is “the Hound of Heaven”. Before we ever search for God, God had already searched for us. This mystical experience first cultivates our thirst for God with a pure and childlike heart, purifying our heart to establish a close and intimate relationship with Him, experiencing the kingdom of God.
In this way we could learn to face the various challenges of life, even with social turbulence, the impermanence and abrupt changes of life, such as those relating our health, human relationship and others. In this way while we face the ups and downs of life, we may become calm in dealing with drastic changes without being frightened.
Our regular and constant meditation enables us maintain a close relationship with God so that we can learn to depend on God in good and bad times with God as our first priority in life. Hence our prayer “Maranatha” will become a powerful call of love, enriching our own “being”, bringing to us total changes of the contemplative elements which ultimately transform our life.
The relative effects are best described by St. Paul in His Epistle to the Galatians (Gal 5:22): "Charity, joy and peace, patience, understanding of others, kindness and fidelity”. Gradually our heart will be filled with the presence of Christ, having the capacity to go into the consciousness of Christ so the mind of Christ becomes ours.
The weekly meditation group performs an important role in this relevant transformation. Through gathering and praying together, we give mutual encouragement and support to each other, create the community connection, reflect the reality of loving oneself, love our neighbors and loving God.
by Lina Lee, Hon Member, The World Community for Christian Meditation (Hong Kong)