March 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Lord's first sermon was simple. "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." This means that our way of thinking about the kingdom of God must change. The kingdom is present, it is not far away. It is here and it is "to come", but we have to be able to see it here, within us, around us, present at this moment, or we will not ever be able to see it. Wherever God is, there is the kingdom. And he is everywhere.

The beauty of this is that we don't have to go anywhere to find God. He is not "somewhere out there." And what we have to do is immediately accessible because he is "everywhere present, filling all things." The "earth is his footstool" so where you are sitting at this very moment, with a slight change of mind, can become THE place of connection with him. There it is again - a change of mind, repentance, metanoia.

This change of mind is a simple thing, but it is not easy since we are not used to focusing our minds either on God or the present moment where both he and we are. Training the mind to be conscious of God is what spirituality is about. St. Paul's admonition to "pray without ceasing" boils down to something a little less daunting than it sounds. Pray now. And if you pray now, you will always be praying.

Use this Great Lent to practice changing your mind to focus on the reality of God's presence whatever you are doing and wherever you are. Do everything you do with complete focus and remember God. See if this doesn't make a difference.

With much affection,

Fr. Antony