The Cross: Weekly Summary — Center for Action and Contemplation

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The Cross: Weekly Summary

The Cross

Summary: Sunday, April 23-Friday, April 28, 2017

Jesus’ life, death, and raising up is the whole pattern revealed, named, summed up, and assured for our own lives. (Sunday)

Jesus takes away the sin of the world by dramatically exposing the real sin—ignorant hatred and violence, not the usual preoccupation with purity codes—and by refusing the usual pattern of vengeance, which keeps us inside of an insidious quid pro quo logic. (Monday)

Jesus dies, Christ rises. If you prefer a different language, the small identity must surrender its ego boundaries to fall into the Larger Identity. (Tuesday)

Twice a year we pause the Daily Meditations to invite your support so that we can keep sharing these free messages. lease take a minute to read a note from Michael Poffenberger, our Executive Director, about how you can help us rebuild spirituality “from the bottom up,” and make a donation today. (Wednesday)

We are invited to gaze upon the image of the crucified to soften our hearts toward suffering and to know that God’s heart has always been softened toward us, even and most especially in our suffering. This then softens us toward ourselves and all others who suffer. (Thursday)

The genius of Jesus’ ministry is his revelation that God uses tragedy, suffering, pain, betrayal, and death itself, not to wound you but in fact to bring you to God. There are no dead ends. Everything can be transmuted and everything can be used. (Friday)


Practice: Meditating as Practice in Dying

As St. Augustine taught, we must “die daily” to our small and separate sense of self. Kathleen Dowling Singh offers an invitation to practice dying through meditation. In her words, “We can sit to meditate with the intention to let it all go, inspired to explore what lies beyond self.”

We sit deliberately, with noble posture and noble attention.

We breathe. Progressively, we free our awareness from sensations. We free our awareness from the ‘I’ we imputed upon the sensations and the ‘mine’ with which we tried to claim them. We relieve ourselves of all of our mistaken identifications, loosening our attachments to them, letting them go.

We liberate ourselves from illusions and, cleared of all that congested weight, the burden of being a self, we surrender, entering awareness that is spacious and quiet and uncongested.

We just die into silence. Die to the past. Die to the future. Die to the breath. Completely let go. The silence reveals itself as refuge, as awareness that can be trusted, tenderly loving and resounding with the majesty and the mystery of the sacred. [1]

Gateway to Silence:
I am crucified with Christ.

[1] Kathleen Dowling Singh, “Living in the Light of Death,” “Ripening,” Oneing, vol. 1, no. 2 (CAC: 2013), 44-46.

For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (Jossey-Bass: 2013)
Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality (Franciscan Media: 2008)

Image credit: White Crucifixion (detail), Marc Chagall, 1938, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
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