“Turn our eyes from watching what is worthless; give me life in your ways.” (Psalm 119:37, The Book of Common Prayer, p.766).
A very wise spiritual director once told me that the reason our lives do not make more significant progress is because of how much attention is paid to nonsense.
Think of what a different world we could live in if the tabloids went bankrupt because no one stopped to read and buy their nonsense in checkout lines.
The world we live in with its lure of wealth, power, fame and the widespread heap of nonsense keeps our eyes on what is worthless. Our false sense of self keeps us focused on what is worthless.
The Psalmist recognizes that by ourselves, we are powerless to change the direction of our interior vision. When we try to do everything, thinking that we can do it all; we are keeping our eyes on what is worthless. Nonsense just consumes us.
In contemplative and centering prayer, God draws us into the depth of God’s Self. In God’s extravagant love and mercy, we are whole and complete. In God’s way is that life that leads us into a deeper relationship with our true self; our eternal truth that is God’s goodness and graciousness poured into our hearts “through the one who has loved us” (See Romans 8:37). In God’s way of life, we are drawn into the mysticism of God’s perspective of us in the holiness of Jesus who is God’s face revealed in the Word. When we trust in God to turn our eyes away from what is worthless, God teaches us God’s way of life that fills us with a sense of purpose with the hope seeking union with God in purity of heart.
“What, dear brothers, is more delightful than this voice of the Lord calling to us? See how the Lord in his love shows us the way of life. Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel as our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom (1 Thess. 2:12).” (RB 1980: The Rule of Saint Benedict in Latin and English, p.161).
Where are your eyes focused?
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB