written by Liz Goodyear Jones
The scripture I have chosen for our reading this week is from the Psalm appointed for this past Sunday, Psalm 119. I have chosen verses 111-112
“Your decrees are my inheritance for ever.
Truly they are the joy of my heart.
I have applied my heart to fulfill your statutes
Forever and to the end.” Ps. 119:verses 111-112
Many, Many years ago I lived on the intercoastal waterway in Florida and had the gift of a next door neighbor who was a French scholar. He and I would read French together weekly and it was there that I was introduced to Antoine St. Exupery’s, Le Petit Prince. The Little Prince became an instant favorite of mine and still is to this day. One of his most famous quotes came to mind, as I was reading this psalm. Let me tell you about it.
During this time of sequestering ourselves, I decided to offer centering prayer as a live video weekly and put in on our church site, so that others could participate.(Though I am greatly retired, one never really retires from being in the priesthood. It remains a deep joy to contribute.)
I’m always telling people to drop down out of their busy minds and into their hearts, letting God’s presence nurture and support them. Last week as I was thinking about this, that beautiful, precious quote of Le Petit Prince came to mind:
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”.
Just as Le Petit Prince tamed the little fox, centering prayer takes away the busy judgments of the mind and begins to tame it. The notion of taming the little foxes of our minds, and using the eyes of our heart to see rightly seems especially good for us right now. Our beautiful minds with its “unruly wills and affections” just like the prayer book says, often do need taming. I know mine does.
If you’re interested, Thomas Keating’s book, Open Mind, Open Heart is a great read on centering prayer. And a reread of Le Petit Prince is always good medicine for the heart.