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Center for Action and Contemplation

A New Beginning: A Journey of Faith

Thursday, January 1, 2015

In Our End Is Our Beginning

A New Beginning: A Journey of Faith
Thursday, January 1, 2015

The formation of faith is an ever-growing and deepening understanding of Divine Reality and our own reality. We see this mirrored in scripture, as the text itself usually takes three steps forward and two steps back in the authors’ view of God and truth. We get a moment of Big Revelation; it is by definition always too much for the small self, and so we backtrack and recoil! Texts themselves reveal each level of consciousness and reassert boundaries, needed violence, self-importance, exclusion, and almost anything rather than really trusting an Infinite Love. At times in religion’s history, God has been portrayed as merely tribal, vindictive, smaller than we are, and judgmental to the core. But running throughout our sacred texts, traditions, and experience is the other thread of God’s desire for union, inclusivity, non-violence, trust, patience, and healing.

I hope I can add to the positive momentum of spiritual evolution. Because of my limitations and biases (as a white man, born in Kansas in the 1940s, raised in the Roman Catholic faith, educated in Franciscan seminaries), my approach to union will always be through a particular set of lenses. It cannot not be. My lenses aren’t necessarily better than others, but they are the ones I began with, and thus far they have born much fruit for others. All each of us can do is own and expose our biases, because we all have them. You do too. There is no such thing as a value free, or unbiased position on anything. My prayer, paraphrasing St. Joan of Arc, is: “If I am in your truth, God, keep me there. If I am not, God, put me there.”

The elements of my “lineage” I’ll explore this year in our Daily Meditations have formed my ideas and experiences of God, humanity, and history. No doubt I’ve left out some significant pieces, but I’ve tried to include those that have had the most impact on my faith and on an integral worldview. I find it helpful to acknowledge these particular building blocks so that those I teach, and I myself, know where we are standing. With that, we can move into our new year of faith with confidence and freedom.

Gateway to Silence:
God, keep me in your truth.

Image Credit: Ensō (円相) – Zen/Japanese calligraphy wallpaper (detail)
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