“Everyone is called in a unique way to respond to the noise and the chaos of the world we inhabit. Too many people interested in contemplation and meditation get discouraged when they discover the ‘waste’ within – the noise and tumult and disruption in their hearts and minds. But don’t be dismayed by your inner turmoil.... Rather, take heart. You are called to enter into the most chaotic places in your heart, for that is precisely where you will discover the presence of God — the God who loves you and has been waiting for you since before the beginning of time.

“The deeper we go, the more chaotic it gets because we live in an agitated world. And how can the hidden places within us be anything but chaotic? When we discover that our inner wasteland simply echoes and mirrors the outer wastelands in which our ‘contemplation has a context,’ we are liberated from the terrible temptation to judge our own prayer. At the same time, we find within ourselves the empowerment to bring healing and transformation both to our inner wasteland and also to the world we live in, a world so desperately hungry for the healing love of God.

“What, then, is the final gift of the heart given to us as we persevere on this path into the treasures that God has poured into us?

“It’s not so much the last gift given, but it may be for many of us the ultimate gift we receive.

“We acknowledged this gift at the very beginning of our journey, before we even embarked on the path. The final gift is the presence of the very Spirit of God.”