Minute Meditations

Sinners Make the Best Contemplatives

young man contemplating

Special status is an illusion in which we take refuge when things are going well. We may even thank God because the storm missed us and hit the next peninsula. When things go badly, the special status feels as if it has been withdrawn. Imagine what the Jews in Nazi Germany felt as little by little their social and professional rights were whittled away and they were reduced to non-citizens. This was a nightmare of insecurity, which we all have, come true.

Even if it is just life and ever-changing circumstances that cause us to lose what we value—like health—we get a nagging feeling of being picked on. We feel we have lost status. There is a sense of superiority that the healthy and happy can hardly help feeling toward the sick and those whom life seems to have treated badly. Yet this sense of being separated and marginalized by fate has a grace. Jesus said he came for the sick, not the healthy. He dined with sinners, not church leaders. So who’s “special”?

No wonder sinners make the best contemplatives.

—from the book Sensing God: Learning to Meditate During Lent
by Laurence Freeman, OSB

Sensing God

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