Twelfth Meditation
(The Way of Perfection, Chapter 22,25)

"Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity -- greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.' But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.' I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted." (1)

The Beggar's King

She is a poor and frail creature -
A bold beggar before the King.
Why would Almighty and All Pure
Reach down to touch this dirty thing?

He is all perfect love and grace,
Compassion and humility;
He stoops to her of lowly place
Who begs from her fragility.

He graciously grants her to kneel
Before His holy court, to gaze
Upon the One, who draws her zeal,
With gratitude and joyful praise!

Her words, if needed, prop her heart;
Her focus is on Him alone.
She strives for silence on her part --
Her gaze riveted to His throne.

This awareness is mental prayer:
He lifts the beggar to an heir.

May the King lift us up to gaze upon His Majesty as we behold our own frailty in the light of His purity.

1. Luke 18: 10-14

(c) Paul Buis, 2004