A New Year Resolution… But you can call it whatever you wish – Goal, Ambition, Intention…
It matters not. What does matter is that the New Year Resolution is crystal clear. Concise, too. Here is my New Year Resolution – PRACTICE.
My New Year Resolution is to daily engage in the spiritual practice of meditation. I write much about mindfulness, spiritual awakening, salvation, sanctification, discipleship, spiritual maturity…
These are all different words and concepts that point to the same basic reality – inner transformation. I frequently write about this spiritual practice because it is helpful and meditative to me to do so. But writing about the spiritual practice and practicing the spiritual discipline is not the same.
You transform only to that degree you actually make it your practice to meditate. BTW, if the word “meditate” sounds too “eastern” to you or your Christian background demands you use the word “prayer” then, by all means, use the word “prayer.” But you should understand this much about Christian prayer. Christian prayer is less about talking to God as it is about disciplining your inner ear to hear God. Not audibly. People who talk about hearing God audibly scare me. People who speak of listening to the inner impulse…the inner voice of God…intrigue me for this has been and continues to be my experience. God’s voice is more a voice of “silence,” as Mother Teresa would often say.
Going into one’s inner closet is the point of Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew 5 when he instructed us “to go into your closet and shut the door” to pray or, as I prefer to say, “meditate” (Matthew 6:5-6).
Literally? Should we understand this instruction literally and go into our clothes closet?
No, except to the degree that doing so symbolically represents for you going inward…going deep within and quietly sitting in your inner chamber and training yourself to know the inner impulse…intuition. This is where God’s presence resides…where God’s voice is heard…where fellowship with the Divine takes place. Going to worship…celebrating the mystery of the Mass…these are other ways of entering into the inner chamber where God is met and transformation takes place. But nowhere is more natural than going frequently – and you can do this anywhere – into the inner chamber. I practice meditating, for example, when I’m waiting in line or caught in traffic or flying on a plane.
Making this your spiritual practice brings you instantly into the present moment. And, this present moment is pregnant with God’s Presence.
Making this your spiritual practice does not make you spiritual. You are spiritual already. This makes you human – which is the ultimate expression of spirituality or spiritual maturity – and what is needed today are not more religious people…more “spiritual” people but people who are becoming more and more human.
What is your New Year’s Resolution? What does it profit you to resolve to accomplish a hundred different things if you miss the most important thing – your relationship with the Divine?
Consider making this your New Year’s Resolution: To practice waking up…tuning in…becoming aware of who you are inwardly – a Divine Being in oneness with Being Itself.
What could be more beneficial than this?