In gratitude for all of what Thomas Keating and Contemplative Outreach has done in supporting my spiritual growth.


My meditation* began with use of the symbol of a cross: My finger began at my lips to trace down a center line of my body forming the vertical line of the cross. Each outward breath, soft S sound, invited release of physical form and spiritual blockages. Once the vertical line was complete, both hands moved to horizontal from the heart center moving outward as if my body was being outlined in a cross. I released the breath, letting go of all my false attachments and opening myself to be the vessel of God.

My sighing breath shifted to a sacred breath in which I fully took in God’s Grace and slowly allowed it’s release while holding it in awe. The mind focused on the position of the cross: Christ’s dying on the cross. Memory flashed back to movies seen about Christ’s death. Graphic cinematic images came to mind. A knowing of the unimaginable pain that must have been experienced in the crucifixion. A felt humbleness and surrendering of my own inability to suffer as Christ did. I held a small piece of the pain with Christ in that moment, the tears began to pour out my eyes. The sacred breath invited my vessel to accept God’s Grace. I surrendered on my cross and opened to accept God’s Will.

I invited my body to let go and allow the spirit of the body to move through it. This led to my body shifting to a curling up birthing position and then re-opening to my legs elongating again, but my arms shifting to a half bent, with hands raised up position: a symbol of praise, a symbolic of Christ‚Äôs resurrection. All of this was experienced on sensation and an inner knowing level as my eyes remained closed during it. Once in this position, the pain of the false self dissipated. A new knowing of God‚Äôs love washed through me coursing through every cell within me. The realization that God‚Äôs pain is “in not having people open enough to receive Grace.” Yet, God never loses hope of this occurring, nor is the invitation to Grace ever taken away despite rejection of it. The constant loving presence always remains. With my arms in position with the resurrected Christ, I held this knowing. In that moment I felt one with God. A rush of warmth, light and joy illuminated through me. ( My sister witnessed the experience and said that my arms were raised in praise and my face was glowing during the experience)

Thoughts began to slowly return and an understanding that I too must not give up on others even if they are unable to receive this grace. The true sacrifice is to remain unyielding in love and grace despite how anyone receives it. This is the model that Jesus showed us in his death and resurrection. W e too must die to our false selves and one’s ministry then is remain in that loving state for other’s despite where they are in their spiritual journey. This would truly be becoming a vessel of God in surrendering and allowing God’s Grace to emerge through you.

Debbie Gervickas
Cape Coral,  FL


*not referring to Centering Prayer