Reading & Meditation 2/28/2021 by Rev. Christine
I’ve selected an article to share by Margaret Prescott Montague, published in the Atlantic Monthly, Nov.1916; titled “Twenty Minutes of Reality.”
“I was lying on a cot on the porch of a hospital at the time, convalescing after a serious illness. It was an ordinary cloudy March day. I am glad to think that it was. I am glad to remember that there was nothing extraordinary about the weather, nor any unusualness of setting to induce what I saw.
“Yet here, in this everyday setting, and entirely unexpectedly, my eyes were opened, and for the first time in all my life I caught a glimpse of the ecstatic beauty of reality. I cannot now recall whether the revelation came suddenly or gradually; I only remember finding myself in the very midst of those wonderful moments, beholding life for the first time in all its young intoxication of loveliness, in its unspeakable joy, beauty, and importance.
I cannot say exactly what the mysterious change was. I saw no new thing, but I saw all the usual things in a miraculous new light – in what I believe is their true light. I saw for this first time how wildly beautiful and joyous, beyond any words of mine to describe, is the whole of life. Every human being moving across that porch, every sparrow that flew, every branch tossing in the wind, was caught in and was a part of the whole mad ecstasy of loveliness, of joy, of importance, of intoxication of life.
“It was not that for a few keyed-up moments I imagined all existence so beautiful, but that my inner vision was cleared to the truth so that I saw the actual loveliness which is always there, but which we so rarely perceive; and I knew that every man, woman, bird, and tree, every living thing before me, was extravagantly beautiful and extravagantly important. And as I beheld, my heart melted out of me in a rapture of love and delight.
“For those glorified moments I was in love with every living thing before me – the trees in the wind, the little birds flying, the nurses, the interns, the people who came and went. There was nothing that was alive that was not a miracle. Just to be alive was a miracle in itself. My very soul flowed out of me in a great joy.
“For those fleeting lovely moments I did in deed and in truth love my neighbor as myself. Nay more: of myself I was hardly conscious, while with my neighbor in every form, from wind-tossed branches and little sparrows flying, up to human beings, I was madly in love.
“This is how, for me, all fear of eternity has been wiped away. I have found a little taste of bliss, and if Heaven can offer this, no eternity will be too long to enjoy the miracle of existence. But that was not the greatest thing that those twenty minutes revealed, and that did most to end all fear of life everlasting.
“The great thing was the realization that weariness, and boredom, and questions as to the use of it all, belong entirely to unreality. When once we wake to Reality – whether we do so here or have to wait for the next life for it – we shall never be bored, for in Reality there is no such thing.” The End!
Meditation - Life
We shall now go into meditation. I invite you to get comfortable, relax, close your eyes, and begin with some good deep breathing. Acknowledge every breath as the life and breath of God, that lives and moves through your whole being.
Ephesians 4:6, “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” We open our mind and heart to the Divine Presence that is everywhere. I am alive in God, and God is alive in, and as me. The Divine intelligence of God is everywhere present, This same intelligence is expressing through me. The eternal life of God is everywhere present, therefore I live eternally in the ever loving, bountiful and beauty of God.
I live in the ever loving, bountiful and beauty of Divine Life. (Repeat)
The activity of God life is both invisible and visible. All of life is shimmering with radiant colorful light; both invisible and visible to the eye. Our mother earth is radiating an array of light. The oceans and waterways are sparkling with light and life. The trees and flowers are vibrantly alive in light. The birds and bees flitter from tree to tree, to flower to flower sharing their love and light. The sky is a beautiful colorful rainbow of radiant light. All around me is so much beauty and aliveness. I can truly see. I am bathed in this colorful array of shimmering joyous life.
We shall move into the silence...
Thank you Divine Presence for these moments in communion... I invite you to bring your attention back to your breath, and to your body - stretch a little. Now open your eyes.