The Mystery of the Cross
by Basil Pennington
THE CHOICES WE MAKE in centering prayer follow through into life. The option for God before all else or in all else becomes the force of our life.
As we know by experience our oneness with each and every person, and also the potential goodness and happiness that is available to fill the life of each, we enter more and more into the compassion of Christ which is at the heart of his Passion. We love more deeply and more universally. We see more exquisitely how people cause themselves to suffer because they do not know their own beauty and lovableness, God's immense love for them, and the meaning of their lives.
Fidelity to centering prayer will not only bring us a deepening joy but also a deepening share in all the suffering of our human race. We come to love the earth, too -- the footstool of God. No -- the throne of God, where he enthrones his beloved children who share his own divineness.
Centering prayer does not take the Cross out of our life. It opens us to experience one of the incomprehensible elements of the mystery of the Cross: we are brought into the experience of its mystery and allowed to share in it. This happens when we come to know in the depths of our being the presence and love of God which fills us with abiding and abounding joy, even while compassion brings into us an ever fuller share in the sufferings of the human family and all the earth.
From the chapter entitled, "Where's the Cross?" in Centered Living by Basil Pennington, (New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell. Copyright Cistercian Abbey of Spencer, Inc. 1986).