Really Seeing

“Seeing is the most arduous thing a human being can undertake. For it calls for a disciplined, alert mind, whereas most people would much rather lapse into mental laziness than take the trouble to see each person and thing anew in present-moment freshness.”
– Anthony de Mello, The Way to Love, pg. 138

As I have studied the life of Mychal Judge over the past eight months, I have read time and time again that he gave everything away. Gifts from friends, or the coat off his own back, he rarely kept anything for himself for long. He believed that whatever he had been given was a blessing he could one day bestow on someone else. That’s why the tiny little book entitled, The Way to Love, by Anthony de Mello has become such an important part of my morning meditation time this summer. It was listed in one of the biographies I have read about Mychal as being one of the only things left in his room after his death. The biographer described it as having been read much, showing wear and tear, notes in the margins, and several dog-eared pages.

I do not believe it a coincidence that I finished my first time through this book on Monday morning, the day I posted my letter to Mychal, after having visited his city on Friday. I spent yesterday morning going back through it and re-reading the highlighted sections and prayers I had scribbled at the end of chapters. I recognized Mychal’s life in those pages as I read through it this summer, and as I re-read those sections yesterday. As I look to him for guidance, he looked to others who went before him. I suppose that is how God meant for all this to work. For us to see – really see a person in a particular moment – is hard (“arduous”) work. In fact, at certain times it is damn near impossible. This is why we have to be told by those who have experienced the “present-moment freshness” of doing such a thing. Someone needs to tell us it is worth the hard work. Someone needs to give us hope that having a “disciplined, alert mind” will make a difference in our recognition of another, and ultimately in our inner peace.

As I walked the city on Friday and met some people who knew Mychal, and as I read the stories recorded about his life and his service to his fellow man, I know why he needed to read The Way to Love over and over again. He was a man who hurt and loved and cared and cried, just like everyone else. But everyone else went to him in need of his love, his Father’s love, not his tears. Mychal went to Anthony de Mello’s last meditations for guidance, the way I kneel with Mychal’s prayer each morning. In the glorious way that God has always provided His message, we learn from and are guided by the path of another. How marvelous!

Lord, help me to see myself and others as we really are,
help me to see us as You see us.
Help me to step outside of my own conceptions of this life,
into Your Truth and Light.



  1. Jessica, I just have to say I have been absolutely loving hearing your thoughts on your journey following Mychal’s life and all that he has done. Your writings continue to fascinate me and I love the absolute pure honesty of your writings and daily struggles to see the purpose to your personal journey. I read your writings daily as a part of my own personal meditations and I thank you for continuing to inspire me!!
    Many blessings to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Michele, for sharing with me on this journey. It has been a true blessing to me to give parts of it back to the world through writing and I am thrilled when I know that those who are reading what I’ve written are benefiting from it!
      Onward we trudge as Happy Destiny awaits, my friend!


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