Inner city contemplative

There is a kind of giving which is receiving, just as there is a kind of loving that feels like being loved. When the mind is concentrated in the heart and some simple words -- like "Jesus, I love you" -- begin to flow naturally with the breath, if grace is there, the mind comes into a sort of natural union with the mind of Christ. The giving and loving are being done in one's own mind instead of one doing them.

The mind of Christ must be a constant flow of love. If we can concentrate our scattered minds on loving, then our minds and His mind are doing the same thing. Eastern philosophers posit that two things which are in the same flow become the same. They cannot remain separate. This inner loving of the Lord is simply opening one's mind to let Love flow through us.

Alone, this type of inner prayer and loving are not enough. For most of us, our minds are far too scattered to remain in this prayerful state for more than a moment or two. Our inner loving and service must be balanced by outer loving and service, by being and doing for others. Inner and outer loving enhance each other. When one sits quietly to pray, the inner joy is more easily accessible if one has just come from some active time of being open to those in need. And one is energized and inspired to serve others by inner prayer and loving. Jesus was a model of inner and outer loving since he was both a contemplative and an activist. This is why an "INNER CITY CONTEMPLATIVE" is not at all a contradiction in terms, but rather, it is a way to follow the Lord very closely ... to experience Him very closely.

~ Martha Chevalier, Detroit, MI