Daily Reading for July 3

It is the contemplative saints who most know the fear and pain as well as the joy and freedom of entering emptiness; they have chosen to confront that which has to be thrust upon the rest of us. They have stretched and yielded themselves to experience cleanly and clearly the hunger and brokenness of their own hearts and of our world. They have willingly sought to deprive themselves of anesthesia. They have claimed their desire to bear the beams of love, regardless of the cost.

At the turn of the fifteenth century, Julian of Norwich wrote, “I learned to be afraid of my instability. For I do not know in what way I shall fall. I would have liked to have known that—with due fear, of course. But I got no answer.” She faced her fear and was able to continue: “Both when we fall and when we get up again we are kept in the same precious love. The love in which God made us never had beginning. In it we have our beginning.”

Spaciousness is always a beginning, a possibility, a potential, a capacity for birth. Space exists not in order to be filled but to create. In space, to the extent we can bear the truth of the way things are, we find the ever-beginning presence of love. Take the time, then; make the space. Seek it wherever you can find it, do it however you can. Seek the truth, not what is comfortable. Seek the real, not the easy.

From “Entering the Emptiness” by Gerald May, in Simpler Living, Compassionate Life: A Christian Perspective, edited and compiled by Michael Schut. Copyright © 1999. Used by permission of Living the Good News, a division of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY.

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