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Dear Meditators                                                                                                                               12/04/22 

This week is the fourth of five reflections on hope, Mystical Hope, from the spiritual writer, Episcopal priest, Cynthia Bourgeault from her book by that name. Today’s session is from the section on Dying Before You Die.

The aim:

  • To join with God’s Presence through silent meditation, known as contemplative prayer
  • To deepen that intention through breath, image, word and to practice ways to allow ourselves to become one with the source of Hope
  • To experience through spiritual growth, the encounter with the Mercy.  

First a short introduction… Cynthia invites us to find our way to the hope that does not disappoint or fail; a different kind of hope that has its source not in events and outcomes but in the mercy of God.

Mystical Hope shows how to recognize this hope in our lives, where it comes from, how to deepen it, and how to carry it into the world as a source of strength and renewal. 

Let’s begin… reflections on the theme of Dying Before You Die…

  • Cynthia says this is hard ground…we assume our faith will fix…but it is only when we move beyond hope that there is any possibility of healing…and we move into God’s unjudging love.
  • We are reminded in Scripture Rev 22:13, 16b that God is the Alpha and Omega, The First and the End…I am the Root, the Offspring, and the bright Morning Star.”
  • And yet we struggle, struggle for all we are worth…that the real tragedy of human life is that we struggle so hard against that which, once yielded into, becomes the immediate fulfilment of all we have longed for…the trick would be to “die before you die.” She quotes Thomas Merton as saying…When we die everything is destroyed except this one little thing…this tiny gold kernel which is the essence of you…and God is protecting it! He will not permit its final destruction. And the thing is, that we know this. This is built into this little grain of gold, this spark of the soul or whatever it is. It knows Somehow though, we have to be facing the possibility of the destruction of everything else to know this will not be destroyed. It’s all right to work towards this gradually, and meditation offers a way to do just that.

Relax now in body and mind, slow your breathing, and enter your meditation, centering your prayer, your will and intention on allowing yourself to nurture this little kernel of gold, which is the essence of you…yielding into God’s protection, which will never allow this tiny spark to be destroyed. Love and every blessing,


Bourgeault, Cynthia, Mystical Hope – Trusting in the Mercy of God: Cowley Publication, Maryland USA, 2001.


Remember to watch an introduction to Centering Prayer Meditation. You can see it here

Let me know how you are finding this time – If you have any suggestions or requests. I always like to hear from you. Kathryn