Meditation: Freeing the Heart
from Praying with John of the Cross by Wayne Simsic (St Mary's Press: Winona 1993)
Slowly read John's list of "nadas" in the "About John" section of this meditation. As you read this, ponder how each "nada" applies to you.
John warns us that seemingly insignificant attachments that become habitual have the power to enslave the heart. John used the image of a small thread holding a bird captive. Reflect on the following questions:
Choose an attachment that has begun to take hold of your heart and consider the power it has over you. How do you feel about this attachment? What is God asking from you in this case?
Reread John's talk to the nuns of Beas in the "About John" section and reflect on his suggestion that we can free ourselves from enslavement to our desires by imitating Christ.
Choose a passage from the Gospels that has a special meaning for you.
Think of people you know or have read about who craved something or someone to fill the emptiness of their life. Think about the suffering they experienced themselves and the suffering they may have caused to the object of their craving. Now reflect on the suffering you may have endured by indiscriminately following one of your own desires. Did you inflict any pain on anyone else because of this desire?
Closing prayer: Gracious God, I join with John "and desire to enter for Christ into complete nudity, emptiness, and poverty in everything" (John of the Cross, "The Ascent of Mount Carinel"). Free my heart; liberate my will.
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