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01/11/2015   An excerpt from Laurence Freeman OSB, CHRISTIAN MEDITATION NEWSLETTER, Vol. 34, No. 3, October 2010, pp. 4-5.   The other is essential to the mystical and loving mind. Otherness stimulates the mind to let go of its fixed points and expand beyond itself, enlarging the view we have of the world and of ourselves within it. . .This is a little of what I understand by the term “a catholic mind,” because it faces openly what it cannot describe or control. The catholic mind intuitively seeks to include rather than reject, even when it might meet an abyss of difference in the other [. . . .]   We become catholic in this full and embracing sense only by means of growth, by passing through the stages of healing and integration. So none of us is catholic yet, not even the pope. There is always a ways to go. But the alternative to this process . . .is the sectarian mind that objectifies the other and, through fear and the pleasure of power, denies it its pure subjectivity, its is-ness. Socially and historically, we have done this to immigrants, to Jews, to gays and other easily targeted minorities, and also, of course, even to half the human race through the violent patriarchal exclusion of women.   By doing such things, we exclude ourselves from the whole and therefore from the Holy. God is always subject, the “great I AM,” impervious to our attempts to objectify and manipulate. We meet this pure emanation of being in our own deep silence, not in ideology or abstraction. And we meet it in diverse ways, in each other and in the beauty and wonder of creation, the ocean of being, of suffering and bliss, that we and even the creator have swum in.   Because this growth requires depth and depth needs silence, the catholic mind . . . requires contemplation. To think of contemplation as a kind of luxury, relaxation or spare time occupation entirely misses the meaning of the opening of the catholic mind as the only essential way we have to glorify God.   After meditation: “Looking for the Differences” by Tom Hennen in DARKNESS STICKS TO EVERYTHING: Collected and New Poems (Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2013), p. 106.   Looking for the Differences   I am struck by the otherness of things rather than their same- ness. The way a tiny pile of snow perches in the crook of a branch in the tall pine, away by itself, high enough not to be noticed by people, out of reach of stray dogs. It leans against the scaly pine bark, busy at some existence that does not need me.   It is the difference of objects that I love, that lift me toward the rest of the universe , that amaze me. That each thing on earth has its own soul, its own life, that each tree, each clod is filled with the mud of its own star. I watch where I step and see that the fallen leaf, old broken grass, an icy stone are placed in exactly the right spot on earth, carefully, royalty in their own country.    Carla Cooper Update your profile HERE to select the communications you want to receive from us Like Tweet Forward to Friend +1 Copyright © 2013 | THE WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION, All rights reserved.Our mailing address is: [email protected] from this list   update subscription preferences