This weeks Lent Devotional Reading is from a 13th cent monk known as Meister Eckhart. He was a theologian and teacher but gained a reputation as mystic in the best sense of the word, he was able through his writings and teaching to help people encounter and experience God. The passage below is from one of his sermons where he warns us to not to think that we encounter God only one way, and that being the way we expect and are comfortable with. It’s a warning to us that we “ should not bind yourself to any mode, for God is not in any mode, neither this nor that” I meet people all the time who think that you can only experience God through their preferred “mode” So to different people God is encountered through
- Liturgy and sacraments
- Emotional singing of contemporary songs
- In creation
- When you fast and pray
- Through expositional preaching
Now God can and does reveal himself through all of those things but Eckhart wisely warns us that we are to pursue God not pursue God through our preferred way. This should make us more open to God and more understanding of people who worship differently to us.
So let’s be on the outlook for experiencing God in unusual places and in ways we aren’t always expecting.
“We find people who like the taste of God in one way but not in another, and they want to have God only in one way of contemplation, not in another. I raise no objection, but they are quite wrong. If you want to take God properly, you should take Him equally in all things, in hardship as in comfort, in weeping as in joy, it should be all the same to you. If you think you have no devotion or earnestness, and have not caused this through mortal sin, when you want to have devotion and earnestness, and that therefore you have not got God- then, if you regret this lack of devotion and earnestness, that is devotion and earnestness.
So you should not bind yourself to any mode, for God is not in any mode, neither this nor that. So those who take God this way are wrong. They take the mode and not God. So remember this: love and seek God purely, and whatever the way of it, be content. For your intention should be purely God and nothing else. What you then like or dislike, that is right, and you must know that anything else is wrong. Those who want so many ways push God under the bench: whether it is weeping or sighing or anything of the sort- it is all not God. If it comes so, take it and be content- if it does not come, be likewise content and take whatever God wants to give you at the time, and remain always in humble self-naughting and rejection, considering always that you are unworthy of any good that God could do you, if He would”