Hello, welcome to the second episode of Christian meditation with Anita Mathias.
Let’s close our eyes, and detach from the world, and begin to enter the inner sanctuary of the soul.
The best way of calming down is by focusing on our breath. Breathe in to the count of five; breathe out. Again.
The Hebrew word for God was Yahweh, which is the sound of breath, I’ve read. Breathe Yah on the in breath. Weh on the outer breath. Yah weh. Yah weh.
Begin to enter your body. Raise your shoulders to your ears. Rotate them clockwise, anti-clockwise.
Tense and wriggle your fingers. And toes.
The prophet Isaiah experienced an ecstatic vision of God. He writes,
I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
The whole earth is full of his glory.”
And that is the one sentence to take from this meditation, to tuck into your heart, and mind, and spirit and memory and carry with you for your whole life.
The whole earth is full of God’s glory.
Life comes to each of us in waves, ups and downs. At times, we are floating; at times, sadness or depression, which feels like something heavy lodged in our body, seizes us. At those times, movement helps, and also to, as far as possible, in the words of Paul the Apostle, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.”
And one way to start being grateful for the gift of our lives is by observing the natural world. The movement of clouds in the sky, their ever-changing canvas, the singing birds, which at dusk makes it sound as if the trees are singing, the trees themselves which grow and change in their ancient silent dignity, the green plants and the flowers, each unique. This is a created universe, a made universe, imagined and invented and given to us by God. And the whole earth is full of God’s glory.
If it’s night, or if you are in an institution and cannot look out at God’s sky, use your memories of the natural world, God’s holy earth, with what the poet William Wordsworth calls, “the inward eye which is the bliss of solitude.”
This is our Father’s world, and the whole earth is full of his glory. God stalks this world invisibly, as Christ, in the flesh, walked the hills of Galilee.
And here’s an excerpt from a poem by Coventry Patmore
In No Strange Land
The angels keep their ancient places;—
Turn but a stone and start a wing!
’Tis ye, ’tis your estrangèd faces,
That miss the many-splendoured thing.
But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.
Yea, in the night, my Soul,
Cry,—clinging to Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water,
Not of Genesareth, but Thames!
Christ is everywhere, stalking the world, walking on the waters not just of Gennesaret, but the Thames, which flows minutes from my own house in England. As we spend more time in the natural world, we realise that we live in a God-haunted world where the wind and trees and storms cry Holy.
“The LORD bless you
and keep you;
25 the LORD make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
May the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’
Thank you. If you’d like to listen to the previous meditation, here it is https://anitamathias.com/2023/02/20/mindfulness-is-remembering-the-presence-of-christ-with-us/