The following entry for our blog is a sharing meditation from a young man from Kenya, Africa who is presently in prison here in the United States for drugs, alcohol and other misdemeanors.
In prison he met Sis. Eve Formentera who introduced him to the DIVINE INDWELLING and she introduced him to Bro. Joe who started to guide him by correspondence following the PMI process of meditation in order to discover and experience that what he needed in life was simply to be with God in him at all times in all that he does.
The following are his reflections based on Lesson 6, a Meditation Guide on Divine Indwelling that is undertaken by all who wish to live the Lords Leaven Mission Way of Life.
The subject of the Present Lesson is Lesson 6: Divine Indwelling: Key to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Release of the Fullness of Graces.”
My introduction to the exercise of Divine Indwelling has been a strong foundation and life changing. It continues to be a source, The Source, I should say, that is necessary as life itself.
When I stop and turn from my selfish endeavors in my daily activities in order to be silent and focus my attention to acknowledge the Presence of the Creator, my Creator, residing within me, I feel an empowering but also so humbling an experience. It brings to my mind a verse where Almighty God commands man to be still and know that He is God, creator of man himself and everything is at His mercy.
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
I’m thankful for this part of the lesson as I am blessed to focus with less distraction. I am realizing how much I need to stop, be silent and be honored to commune with the Divine Presence.
Initially, I had so much distractions with my thoughts, surroundings or whatever I was currently going through (and I still struggle sometimes). However, as I go on exercising DI, things are getting quieter, thank God. For so long I have lived without stopping at all to acknowledge the Divine Presence. The lesson actually describes my life as I lived for things which are outside myself. I still find myself “drifting” sometimes; but by the mercy of God, His spirit is strengthening me and guiding me as I chose to ask for his mercy each day.
I have to mention that there is a powerful peace that I am discovering by God’s guidance as I exercise being in silent attention to the magnificent presence of Almighty God within me. In the midst of the chaos around me and various issues in life that seem to demand my attention it is such a relief, comfort and a positive renewal for me, as I take time and quiet and acknowledge the Divine Presence within. Everything seems to diminish and I feel centered.
I have shared with you, Bro. Joe, the passing away of my dad and the uncertainty of the future. I’m grateful for God’s mercy, that especially now, in the midst of it all, I am at peace. I know now for a fact that it is not I who have done anything, but God’s mercy that has guided and opened the way for you, Bro. Joe, to share with me his truth within me and thereby his peace, no matter what is going on.
For me this part of the lesson is fundamental and a necessity, not only for a beginner like me but for the rest of my life. There are moments, which I can’t even put in words, that God mercifully opens His presence to me. And when moments that break me down come, His mercy and love on me a sinner, unworthy as I am in every way, also comes an overwhelming beautiful presence. I know is Him. Hallelujah. Amen.
Reflection on Lesson 6 Set 1; “Man is always on the search for happiness, comfort, pleasure from any earthly value, namely: education, economics, politics, or any other value that are on the surface of the earth.”
I couldn’t agree more as I write these words. I know very well the journey that I have taken from being a young boy in Kenya to a middle aged man in an American Jail cell. What was I looking for on earth?
Looking back I see that there are various powerful influences beginning at home, school and society, being combined with my perceptions, understanding of life that may create or open the door to a path of self-seeking endeavors.
I do not put blame on anything or anyone, but me. I consciously chose to look for all that was appealing to me and the means to do so became a lifestyle based on selfish values. Looking outside of myself for validation, recognition, happiness, comfort and pleasure has made me materialistically driven in life.
As a young man I was an alcoholic and an abuser. The bottom line is I chose to live a very dishonest life as a disobedient son to my parents and to God. The things I sought that society labels as success (or appears as success) I thought would fulfill who I am, make me complete, or be happy in life with myself so that I could be seen as such by the friends and acquaintances I had.
Reflection on Lesson 6 Set 1; “Man is never satisfied with whatever he achieves and takes from the earth because man made in the unlimited image and likeness of God is looking for completeness in the limited values of earth and not in God Himself in whom man is made. Man is not made for these things or these values. He is made for God alone.”
My past journey in searching for happiness, comfort and pleasure on the surface of the earth has actually left me sick with depression. I even attempted to commit suicide in 2005. I lost everything that I thought would make me who I was (an identity) but had left me very empty and hopeless and also desperate for something that could give meaning to my life.
Interestingly, by the mercy of God, this dark period of my life was the beginning of a change that only God’s merciful and amazing ways could have opened me up to ask myself about the meaning of my unfulfilled physical existence. By God’s mercy and blessing, He began to open me to Him, and to know that there is a spiritual side, not just the physical realm, that I existed in trying to find happiness and pleasure with everything I thought would satisfy my physical self.
My thoughts, feelings, emotions, my senses were my priority to be fed with any form of enjoyment I could find on a daily basis. I was not living at all but existing, like a zombie, an empty shell of a human being. By the mercy of God, He has gradually shown me and continues to show me the futility of my selfish choices, as I have lived for my physical self.
I remember vividly and I am ashamed to remember my initial letter to you, Bro. Joe, where by my focus was not on seeking God’s Kingdom first. By God’s mercy and blessing, He put you in my life to guide me back to what is true and a solid foundation.
Praise to our Creator and Savior, Heavenly Father, Holy Son and Holy Spirit, forever.